No fewer than seven steel companies with annual production capacity of 1million tons have shut down in Nigeria within the last three years, the Galvanized Iron and Steel Manufacturing Association (GISMA) has said.
A GISMA official, AlhajI Bello Mohammed who disclosed this in a statement said steel industries in Nigeria would soon collapse as the textile industry did with attendant millions of direct and indirect job losses if the increasing smuggling remained unchecked by assigned government agencies.
He noted that since there is no effective clamp down on the smugglers by the Federal government, activities of the smugglers have been emboldened and more daring as they now use the Free Trade Zones where their products in containers are not formally inspected by assigned regulatory authorities.
“They also have scattered all over notorious warehouses that they use as bridges between the Free Trade Zones and the various markets nationwide,” he stated.
He added that the smugglers do not pay statutory fees thereby defrauding the government of billions of revenue thus an act of economy sabotage. Mohammed called on Federal Government through the office of the Vice President to quickly set up Special anti-smuggling task force saddled with responsibility to put a final stop to the smuggling of roofing sheets into the country.