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Importers of foreign textile materials should be arrested – Dangote

Dangote said importation of textile materials into the country has encouraged smuggling to thrive.

The Founder, Chairman and CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has called on the Federal Government to arrest and imprison dealers of foreign textile materials in the country.

Dangote also said it had become inevitable for the National Assembly to make a law that would penalise the sale of banned textiles by imprisoning culprits without an option of fine, The Punch reports.

The Nigeria and Africa’s richest man said this during his speech at the 50th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in his lecture titled ‘Agenda Setting for Industrialising Nigeria in the Next Decade’.

Dangote stated that, for the local textile industry to experience growth, laws must be enforced to not only disincentive importation of foreign materials, but to stop it completely, adding that a prosperous economy would lead to reduction in insecurity.

Dangote word:For the textile industry, I believe the government should draft legislation in the National Assembly that states that anyone selling prohibited foreign textiles must face prison time without the option of a fine. So it’ll just be going to jail, even if it’s only for two years.

“The real issue in the textile industry is not a lack of less expensive power. The textile will not last if you give them cheaper power but allow the smuggling to continue.

“What is happening is that foreign companies are dumping their products in Nigeria. That is why I dislike importing. When you import, you are importing poverty while exporting prosperity and job opportunities.

“Today people would be sent to jail in India for selling foreign textiles anywhere. Also, if something is banned in the United States of America for example, there is no way it could be displayed for sale in a shop.

“But what is stopping the implementation of Nigeria’s government policies is the absence of the political will to make sure that we implement those policies no matter who is going to be upset by us.

“If we have a prosperous environment the insecurity will drop.

The Punch also reports that in 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had placed restriction on access to foreign exchange for all forms of textile materials with the intention of reviving the industry.

However, it seemed the move had yielded no effect as National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recorded in its trade report that textiles and textile articles increased by 257.9 per cent in the first three months of 2021 to N171.8bn from N48bn in 2020.

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