Manufacturers seek ban on  importation of dredgers

…Accuse NCDMB, BoI of frustrating local manufacturers
Mkpoikana Udoma 25 August 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt –
A marine logistics company known as Pisx Investment Nigeria Limited has called on the federal government to invest massively in local content especially in the area of manufacturing.
dredgerChief Executive Officer of Pisx Investment, Sen. (Chief) Nimi Amange made the call during the inspection tour of an ongoing construction of a 18 by 16 inch cutter-suction Dredger in Port Harcourt, constructed by Nwakama Dredging Company, at the weekend.
Senator Amange, represented at the occasion by a Director of the company, Mr. Aikiba Amabebe, particularly called on governors in the Niger Delta region to key into partnering with local manufacturers to create jobs and boost the economy.
According to him, “If an indigenous company can build a dredger of this magnitude, it is their duty to encourage manufacturers like Nwakama Dredging Limited; I expected the Nigerian Content Board to enact a law that can stop Nigerians from importing dredgers.”
“The federal government should encourage small scale manufacturers like Nwakama Dredging Company because if they are encouraged they will do more than this; Nigerian content board should give loans to this kind of people so they could do more.”
Amabebe explained that the 18 by 16 inch dredger when completed would be used to reclaim 150 acres of land for Nembe in Bayelsa State.
He explained further that more money is saved by constructing a dredger here in Nigeria than importing it, because constructing it here would contribute to generating employment for many Nigerians.
Also speaking, Rivers State Chapter Chairman of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Dr. E.D Oko jaja, said the association  will ensure that Nigerian content is fully enforced.
Earlier, the Public Relations Officer of Dredgers Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Ufoma Dagogo Tom-Smith, who lauded the projects by Nwakama Dredging Company, berated the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board over negligence of its functions.
“In the dredging industry in Nigeria, the Nigerian content board has failed woefully. If you want to encourage local content, you should enact laws that will encourage the local manufacturers. For instance,  government has enacted laws to ban importation of chicken in order to  encourage local farmers. Now, what are the polices that have been put in place in Nigeria in the area of importation dredgers?
“Knowing fully well that here in the Niger Delta, there is no project that can be embarked upon without dredging due to the swampy nature of the terrain – I don’t know about other industries, but I do know that Nigerian Content is not practised in the dredging industry. I have not seen them in anyway encouraging us, rather they are giving room for people to import,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Nwakama Dredging Company, Engr. Elderd Nwakama, who said he has been on the project for the past eight weeks, lamented lack of access to funds as the major setback and challenge facing his job.
He also appealed to the federal government to resuscitate the moribund Ajaokuta Steel company and other rolling mills in the country in order to pave the way for indigenous manufacturing to boom.
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