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The Federal Government (FG) has decried the rate at which metal products are imported into the country, saying it is killing Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), which locally produce the products in the country.

According to This Day, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr AbdulKadri Mu’azu, had disclosed at a workshop on stimulation and promotion of activities of SMEs in the metal sector in Jos, that the influx of the foreign products has been a clog in the wheel of SMEs operations calling for an outright ban.

What it means: Mu’azu explained that the ban of the foreign products is long overdue. Depsite the fact that  the locally made metal products are available, their imported counterparts still find their way to the local market. This he said is killing SMEs in the country.

He said that the quantity of metal products made in Nigeria cannot meet the demand in the country while stressing that the demand for imported products are high because they are cheaper than locally produced ones.

Why the ban matters: Mu’azu said this habit needed to be curbed as it is negatively affecting the sector. According to him, SMEs were closing down and jobs were being taken away as the businesses could not keep up with the low sales.

he said, “We import all kinds of metal products, even the ones produced within the country. This is because the quality of products made in Nigeria cannot be compared with those imported. Also, the quantity of metal products made in Nigeria cannot meet the demand in the country. Imported products are also in higher in Nigeria because they are cheaper.”

[READ MORE: Start-ups, MSMEs in Edo to receive sponsorship to Global Entrepreneurship Congress)

Meanwhile, Mu’azu said the ministry was working on sensitization programmes such as organising workshops to create awareness and encourage SMEs in the metal industry in Nigeria, so as to show them the government’s role in helping them develop their businesses.

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In line with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite’s declaration, the metal industry will now be prioritized as efforts are being made for local production to experience exponential growth. According to Mu’azu, in addition, Nigeria’s metal products will compete favourably with imported ones.

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