Muhammadu Buhari had over the years shown serious concerns and
attentions towards ensuring that rapid economic recovery is achieved
thereby graduating to sustainability through the support of stakeholders
in the various sectors of the nation.
As we all know that no nation can develop without taking bold step
towards resisting all avoidable neo-colonialism tendencies capable of
enslaving her citizens and relegating the economic fortunes as well as
pride investments of the nation to its lowest ebb.
While corruption can only be perceived as a problem biting hard in all
sectors of the nation, accomplices of such act are nothing but rebels
and saboteurs who are hindering the laudable initiatives of Federal
Government through its monetary and regulatory agencies.
However, it is saddened to note that Nigeria’s economy is heading to a
severe point of collapse due to the many havocs precipitated by some
Government Monitoring Agencies especially those who are directly
involved in the economic and security sectors respectively.
Investigation into the nation’s port management and pre-shipment
management has revealed that the nation’s security has been exposed to
abuse, gross misconducts, undue connivance as well as aiding and
abetting illegal importation of substandard products into the country at
the detriment of the masses.
To our dismay, the unpatriotic moves have over the years significantly
affected the Textile Industry in the past and most recently, the
nation’s steel industry because smugglers had enjoyed the protection of
the Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON) and the Nigeria Customs
Service thereby channelling all manners of goods into the nation.
It would be recalled that the federal government had imposed 45 percent
Import Duties on foreign products that are successfully being
manufactured locally, in order to protect local manufacturers but
unfortunately, findings have revealed that little or nothing paid by
dealers who have successfully flooded the nation imported items that are
even substandard and dangerous for usage in Nigeria. This is
condemnable, frivolous, unwarranted and uncharitable to the present
administration. There is a deep hole in national security. There is a
big alarm required to close massive revenue loss, threat on economic
activities as well as, the future of Nigerians.
Surprisingly, smuggled substandard steel products are freely traded in
all markets in Nigeria thereby subjecting local manufacturers to serious
economic and social investment misfortune. A silent question is, where
are agencies like the Nigeria Custom Service, Standards Organisation of
Nigeria (SON), the Nigeria Customs Service despite the efforts of the
Presidential Committee on Trade Malpractices and Department of State
Our investigations have showed clearly that given the grave dangers of
the smuggling of steel products, the Federal Government of Nigeria
should act fast and now. The nation must immediately enforce all
investors protective policies that will put a stop to the activities of
these economic saboteurs.
Although, the Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON), had reacted to an
allegation of non-performace leveled against its officials by the
Galvanized, Iron and Steel Manufacturers Association, (GISMA) clearing
the air that some manufacturers usually escape its scrutiny through
other agency i.e the Nigeria Customs Service due to its lack of security
enforcement operational technique.
There exist a cartel of economic saboteurs who import huge volume of
containers every week valued at about $5m which were never captured
under the correct HS code 7210.30.00.00 – 7210.50.00.00 of Nigerian
Customs Service portal, making the Federal Government of Nigeria to lose
an estimated revenue of about N1billion monthly on these smuggled items
due to the neglect of pre-inspection of any container coming into the
country which was hither-to the practice in Nigeria prior to current
administration emanating from wrong declaration and conspiracy with
Releasing Customs Officers and non-proper monitoring of the usage of
private jetty and lack of security in lonely ports.
According to a newspaper report, “Business Day of May 1st 2019” it was
disclosed that this has however led to the untimely collapse of the
Western Metal Products Company (WEMPCO) which has 700,000tons capacity
while 14,000 people lost their jobs being one of the major players in
the steel manufacturing ventures. GISMA said as a body under the
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has been battling for some
time with what he called this dismal economic sabotage which may lead to
the collapse of up to 60 per cent of manufacturers in the production
process while its members may soon lay-off about 20, 000 workers
There is urgent need for the federal government to put in place
mechanism that will allow for adequate inspection, clearing, loading and
releasing of consignments with genuine identification numbers and codes
in order to reduce to the barest minimum, the smuggling of dangerous
weapons posing threat on the peace and security of the nation.
It is therefore a statement of fact that the activities of smugglers
have largely dented the noble objectives of the Federal Government
Economic Growth and Recovery Plan for the steel sector of the Nigerian
economy and it our strong advocacy for reformed and proactive Customs
Service Operation under the leadership of Col. Hamid Ali (rtd) because
such dastard acts started in 2016 under his watch and continue to gain
prominence since then.
Finally, BEFORE NIGERIA’S ECONOMY COLLAPSES there is need to emphasise
on the fact that the local steel manufacturers in the industry have the
required potential and capacity to meet the nation’s annual demand,
which predicated on Central Bank of Nigeria and Bureau of Statistics
placement of galvanised and coloured corrugated roofing sheets and wire
nails under the 41 items restricted for Foreign Exchange with the
support of Budget Office.
We hereby appeal to the authority of the Nigeria Customs Service and the
Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), to assist President Muhammadu
Buhari GCFR, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON and the Central
Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to succeed more in the economic policies
aimed at driving industrial revolution in Nigeria.
Comrade Jubrin Abdulmalik
Social Integrity Network