Awards recipients and officials at the event.
Forex, poor infrastructure killing Nigerian industries, says Krisoral boss
By Valentine Amanze
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Krisoral Group, Igwe Chris Oranu Chidume, Eze Ana-ukwu, has identified the disparity in the rate of foreign exchange market (forex) as the major obstacle to the growth of the Real Sector in Nigeria.
The industrialist cum monarch spoke at the Commerce And Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria’s (CICAN) end of Year Workshop /Media Awards, titled, “Impact of Forex Crisis on the Real Sector and MSMEs,” in Lagos on Thursday December 16, 2021.
While advocating for proper policy implementation that would enhance manufacturing positively, Chudume wondered why forex market in Nigeria would continue to be characterized with different rate from open markets.
He pointed out that the disparity in the forex market has made business of getting the money from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and reselling to others lucrative.
He also said that poor infrastructure, high cost of diesel and numerous government officials on the roads were other factors affecting the real sector especially in the South-East Nigeria.
His words: “The challenge of forex is one, but beyond forex, I will want to share with you other things we are facing in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
“Every Industrial park in Lagos has gas pipelines; it is in Lagos that you have national ports; it is in Lagos you have the international airport and for you to cite your business in the South-East, forex is not the only threat we face and if I begin to list the threats that you buy diesel at N320 to fuel your generator used in running your factory and meanwhile, your contemporary in Lagos is using natural gas.
“Moreover, you will have to clear your goods from wharf in Lagos, transport it to East and 60 per cent of the Nigerian market is in Lagos, you bring to target the 60 per cent in Lagos, transport it back to Lagos and as you are going back to East, every 50 kilometres is a different country and when I mean a different country, you are going to meet a police that will not believe that you are coming from the same Nigeria; you will meet a Customs officials that will not believe that you passed the Nigerian Customs.
“I will give you the list of the countries you meet before you get to Anambra. When you process this product to return it back to Lagos, which is the hub of Nigeria’s market, you will have to pass through these steps again and when you are processing these products, you will have to contend with the environmental factors, social factors, political factors and all these factors are targeting established businesses. So for you to survive in our environment, you will have to consider all these factors.”
He also lamented the nation’s trade policies, which he said, were not favourable to indigenous manufacturers.
For instance, the industrialist wondered why Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“We are about entering the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which somebody somewhere in any of the African countries where things are moving well will be targeting Nigeria market,”
He therefore appealed to government to remove its officials on the roads to reduce cost of doing business in Nigeria.