SME group hails forex restriction on food import - PUNCH
BY Anna Okon
The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises has applauded the decision of the Federal Government to place food on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s foreign exchange exclusion list.
The association said the move was favourable to the small businesses.
The Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NASME, Mr Solomon Aderoju, stated this in Lagos on Thursday during the association’s press briefing on its forthcoming Business Round Table scheduled to hold in August ending.
He noted that the policy statement would help in strengthening the country’s currency, conserving Nigeria’s foreign earnings and enhancing the already weakened naira.
Commending the government for the bold step, he said this was the only way Micro Small and Medium Enterprises could grow.
Aderoju added that more jobs would be created if the policy was well implemented.
The Vice President, South-West, NASME, Oladipo Jemi-Alade, said the government’s pronouncement was a new opportunity for the members of the association and other manufacturers in the country to explore the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, saying that the round table was apt.
He said, “Now that AfCFTA is open unto us, we have to be prepared for the next level. We want to be in a position to compete favourably with our foreign counterparts. For this reason, we are upgrading our skills and we have embarked on membership training nationwide to build skills and capacity.”
The Chairman, NASME Cooperatives, Adam Adebayo, noted that over 200 members had accessed the Anchor Borrowers Fund, stressing that the group had been advocating a ban on imported food to enable farmers to process and sell their local produce.
He said, “We have been exporting primary produce; but now that there is a new development, we are happy because we would be able to add value by processing all our produce through our value chain. With this, the government will now bring back the commodity board, which will be responsible for price control so that the farmers will not record losses.”