Fear that more than 50 manufacturing firms are on the verge of shutting their factories in Nigeria before the end of first quarter of 2017 has set the CBN on a war path with the real sector.
Rising from a crucial meeting on Saturday, representatives of the various subunits of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) lamented the refusal of CBN to remove 40 items from its list of banned items coming into Nigeria.
The meeting, was said to have been summoned to fine tune strategies for a possible confrontation with CBN, since the apex bank had failed, for the umpteenth time, to revisit its policy that denies foreign currency allocation to manufacturers.
According to manufacturers, some items falling within the ones still in banned items in Nigeria are the major reasons the sector is the worst hit in the recession period.
Mostly affected by the ban include textiles, tomatoes, paint and subsectors.
But an aide to the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said these issues had been taken up by the minister.
“The country cannot afford losing more firms, given the costs of such to the economic recovery anticipated this year (2017).
“Whatever can be done to arrest the situation from gettibg worse must be done, and that is why a tripartite meeting, involving CBN, MAN and the ministry is to hold this week,” he said.
A spokesman of the Tomatoes Paste Producers Union (TPPU), Mr. Nnamdi Nnodebe, who described the situation as precarious said with the look if things, more than 60 per cent of paste making firms in Nigeria have already been affected.
” The paste sub sector, which was once a vibrant industry, will has virtually ceased to exist, and any moment from now, if nothing is done to reverse the trend, the CBN should be held responsible.
“There have been several appeals concerning its policy on forex exclusion of a major raw material for our industry, known as triple concentrate tomato paste from the scope of the 40 items under the restricted list, but till date nothing is done towards that.”
He attributted the shutting down of Erico company and Dangote firm, both of which produce tomato paste to non availability of raw materials.
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