Image: Cable Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria President, Chief Ifeanyi Uzodike
*Regret dwindling fortunes*
The Cable Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (CAMAN) have blamed the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over what they described as influx of fake and substandard products as well as dwindling fortunes in the cable and wire sector.
Uzodike identified other problems facing the manufacturing sector including dwindling revenue from oil sector, multiple taxation, influx of substandard products, non-compliance of the rule of local content, unclear description of items not valued for foreign exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria, as contained in their Circular which hinders access to forex by some local manufacturers for purchase of raw materials.
Speaking to newsmen, yesterday, CAMAN President, Chief Ifeanyi Uzodike who is also the Chief Executive of Cutix Cables Plc stated that the untoward policy of the Federal Government executed by the Central Bank of Nigeria impedes the access of several local manufacturers to foreign exchange for the procurement of their raw materials.
Uzodike pointed out that the influx of substandard cables into Nigerian markets continues unabated as a result of failure of relevant government bodies to curb it.
He said the policy of the CBN is affecting the CAMAN members especially in the area of importation of raw materials, as according to him, it does not allow them to import cables especially Copper Rot, which he said is not seen in Nigeria
The Cutix Cable Plc CEO regretted that the indigenous manufacturers of wire and cable have not benefited from the Local Content Act in the Oil and Gas sector because the rulers are not being applied strictly.
Chief Uzodike lamented the policy is stifling manufacturers, adding that they have been pushed to the point of sacking workers by 50 percent, an action he said his company is reluctant to carry out.
He called got partnership of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and CAMAN to ensure that indigenous cable manufacturers benefit as intended by the Act.
The CAMAN spokesman stated that the Federal Government policy conserve foreign exchange through the CBN will bear result if the Federal Ministry of Finance and other relevant Ministries, Depar6tments and Agencies (MDAs) put a stop to issuing duty waivers or permits, as they end up undermining the policy and allow room for all forms of economic sabotage.
While priding Cutix Cables Plc as the first cable manufacturing company to acquire a plastic compounding line, he stressed that the ugly action of influx of substandard goods into Nigeria will be better checked if officials of the standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) are allowed back into the ports, and stated that it is necessary for Nigerian Customs Service to increase their level of commitment and diligence in the execution of their duties.
Uzodike whose firm holds its annual general meeting this Friday said in the face of oil decline, his company posted N2.4 billion revenue in 2015 which is five percent higher than that of last year, adding that profit after tax stood at N149 million from N207 million last year.
He noted that Cutix Cables Plc has paid taxes valued at N395.8 million as Corporate Income Taxes from 1997 to 2014 and he expressed the hope that despite the challenges, Cutix Cables Plc is ready to record increased sales and expand its business in order not to reduce staff manpower.
By Uche Osibe