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Nigeria, neighbouring countries to police borders

Nigeria and neighbouring countries are partnering to ensure that its borders are better policed to tackle the smuggling and influx of counterfeit products into the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated this when a delegation of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, visited him on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
MAN, led by its President, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs, also presented the Vice President, a report on its advocacy campaign for patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products.
Osinbajo said that the move to tighten the borders would further promote the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products and boost the country’s manufacturing sector.
He called for the amendment of certain sections of Nigerian laws to attract stringent monetary penalties for defaulters, saying it would not only serve as deterrent but also ensure the quality of goods produced in the country.
He said: “More importantly, the whole issue is that we are able to police the borders. Last week we had discussions with all the agencies connected; including the Customs, the Minister of Internal Affairs, NPA, and we were looking at how we can work with our neighbours, especially the Benin Republic, and our neighbours also in the North, to police our borders as much as we can.”
The Vice President stated that the major focus of the Ease of Doing Business reforms of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was to increase patronage of locally manufactured goods, as well as to create an enabling environment for the private sector and businesses in the country to thrive.
He assured the manufacturers that government would consider the request made by the association for a 35 per cent margin of preference for Made-in-Nigeria products for government procurement.
“I think that, in this particular case, the 35 per cent threshold is entirely reasonable. We should be able to do better than that in terms of driving government procurement,” Prof Osinbajo said, adding that the country has a huge market for locally manufactured products, especially in the textile and footwear industries.
He said that government had already ordered some of these products for the military and other uniformed agencies.
The President of MAN, Frank Udemba Jacobs,  said that the association’s advocacy campaign was not only aimed at improving the patronage of locally manufactured products by Nigerians, but to also help create more jobs for Nigerians local industries by reducing imports.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the meeting with the vice president, Udemba Jacobs, said the specific thing he was taking away from the meeting was government’s promise to look at the recommendations for Made-in-Nigeria products.
“The fact that they agreed to look at it means that something is going to come out of our presentations, which is the main reason we are here,” he said.
Also speaking, one of the manufacturers at the meeting, Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye, a pharmacist, said MAN was partnering with agencies that work for quality assurance like the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC.


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