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Seahorse Oil MD wants FG to make protectionist policies for indigenous firms

Mr Ebuka Onunkwo, Managing Director, Seahorse Oil Ltd., has urged the Federal Government to come up with protectionist policies that would enable indigenous firms to flourish.

Onunkwo, whose company makes different ranges of lubricants, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Awka.

He said that apart from foreign exchange and power challenges, indiscriminate import of substandard products from abroad was stifling local firms.

He, however, thanked the government for its effort at enhancing the global competitiveness of Nigerian firms through the Standard Organisation Nigeria (SON), Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) Certification and standard operation schemes.

Onunkwo said that the substandard imported products which were also come at prices that make their local quality substitutes uncompetitive.

He appealed to the the Federal Government to adopt stronger regulation against such dumping behavior, including ensuring that their quality were up to the minimum standards before leaving the country of origin.

“A major challenge of local manufacturers is massive importation of substandard products from abroad, whereas there are local substitutes that are of better quality.

“These foreign products come at very low prices because of their poor quality and chase out the local alternatives.

“Some of them do not pass any form of quality test but they take over our markets; the implication is that Nigerian companies will find it hard to survive and the unemployment problem will continue.

“The Federal Government must do something about it as a matter of urgent national economic importance, there should be regulations and checks both at the borders and their countries of origin.

“The Federal Government is helping us to become more competitive through SON which conducts the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP), and my products range l Seahorse have been certified,’’ he said.

Onunkwo said the foreign exchange market should be made favorable, stable and enabling so that investors could access it to procure foreign inputs.

He also called for more action on electricity supply in the country as most firms were operating below capacity and at high costs.



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