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‘It destroys local manufacturing’ — Omokri counters Obi on import restriction policy

‘It destroys local manufacturing’ — Omokri counters Obi on import restriction policy
October 07
18:45 2022

Reno Omokri, former special adviser to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, has condemned plans by Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), to remove import restrictions.

Omokri said this on Friday in a statement titled ‘analysing Peter Obi’s plans to remove import restrictions’, shared on social media.

On Thursday, Obi had said his administration would ensure there is only one foreign exchange (FX) market in Nigeria, if he is elected as president.

He also said he would remove import restrictions.


“We will remove import and forex restrictions and insist on a single forex market. The current system penalises exporters who bring in forex by forcing them to sell at a rate that they are unable to source for when they need to purchase forex,” he had said.

Reacting to this, Omokri said the presidential candidate’s plan to remove import restrictions, only “favours traders like Obi, but destroys local manufacturing”.

According to him, developing countries do not grow by removing import restrictions.


“Peter Obi, who is the single largest individual importer in Nigeria, wants to remove ‘import restrictions.’ Yet, this is the same man that wants to ‘move Nigeria from consumption to production?’ Removing import restriction favours traders, like Obi, but destroys local manufacturing,” he said.

“Take the Dangote Tomato Paste factory in Kano. If you remove import restrictions, as Obi proposes, his company, Next Cash and Carry, will be able to import cheaper tomato paste from Italy, which will force Dangote Tomato out of business and make thousands of Nigerians he employs unemployed.

“No developed nation grew to the point where they are by removing import restrictions, as Peter Obi proposes. Such policies only favour traders, like Obi, who only import and sell. A nation can’t grow like that. We must restrict imports so local manufacturers can grow!

“Obi’s plan to remove import restrictions will only favour traders, like him. But it will completely destroy the textile industry in Kaduna and Kano, and the manufacturing sector in Ikeja, Lagos, and Agbara, Ogun State. Nigeria must produce and not import what we can produce.


“If you remove import restrictions, people, like Peter Obi, whose only motives are quick money, will import champagne from France, whiskey from Scotland, and caviar from Russia. We will end up dissipating our foreign exchange on things Nigeria does not need, because traders want to make profit.”


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