MAN urges FG for more time before 50 per cent tariffs on tomatoes paste
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has urged the Federal Government to allow for more time before executing the 50 per cent tariff on imported tomatoes concentrates.
Mr Frank Jacobs, President of MAN made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on Thursday.
Jacobs said that the gesture would allow local manufacturers to undertake backward integration, adding that the present time given by government was “inadequate.”
NAN recalls that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, on Tuesday, disclosed that the government has increased the tariff on importation of tomato concentrate to 50 per cent.
Enelamah further said that the government has also approved an additional levy of $1,500 per metric tonne on tomato concentrate from May 7.
The minister had explained that the move was to increase local production of fresh tomato fruit in the country.
Jacobs said that although the new policy was commendable, most domestic manufacturers needed time to adequately backward integrate so as not to incur losses.
“We are all aware that before the assumption of the new policy most of our members would have imported raw materials and if the policy comes as soon as possible, our members will not be able to meet the deadline.
“As is the policy which is supposedly to be seen to be boosting domestic productivity will now negate business in the short run for our members,’’ he said.
He agreed, however, that the initiative would create food sufficiency and cut down high demand for foreign exchange to import consumer items.
He added that the new programme would allow domestic manufacturers have better grip of the market and grow their businesses within a limited time.
“Most manufacturers will now be in a vantage position to have good share of the market compared to imported ones.
“The issues of unemployment will now be adequately tackled as many of our indigenous companies will grow and gainfully engage the teaming youths,’’ he said.