By Aminu Imam
The Nigerian government has unveiled plans to continually review tariffs and waiver granting as part of efforts to encourage local content development as well as improve capacity utilization of manufacturing companies in the country.
Local industrial firms had cited unfavourable import tariffs and waivers as factors responsible for low capacity utilization of their factories and lack of competitiveness in the global market as imported goods continue to thrive in the country.
Speaking at the commissioning of the EMV certified smart card manufacturing plant of SecureID Limited in Lagos on Monday, President Goodluck Jonathan, stated that the government had formulated and implemented policies to drive the growth of innovative products that would further aid the realization of a digital economy.
President Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, noted that with the cards market still growing as a result of growing needs of the teeming population, it has become necessary to discourage excessive importation of services that can be offered in the country.
He added that the commissioning of the factory is a concrete result of his administration’s transformation agenda, stressing that government is unrelenting in its drive to encourage local investors to remain competitive in the country through favourable policy formulation and implementation.
Johnson, in her capacity as the Communications Technology Minister, explained that capacity utilization of factories is hinged on the ability to increase local content and boost patronage of goods and services being offered.
“What we are witnessing is the result of a collaborative effort between the ministries of Finance, Communications Technology and Industry, Trade and Investment. Government has done its part in making the communications technology sector attractive by making tariffs commercially uncompetitive for importers, especially in areas where the country has capacity.
“We need to support these industries through increased patronage if they have to thrive in their businesses,” she said.