Nigeria bans import of 41 more products

  Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- Nigeria's federal government has banned the importation of 41 more items in addition to the more than 70 others placed under ban last year, in an effort to protect local industries.
   Information Minister Chukwuemeka Chikelu told journalists in Abuja Wednesday the banned goods included textiles, furniture, fresh fruits, plastic materials, men's footwear and leather bags and goat meat.
   Importation of household wares, bicycles, cutlasses, axes, spades, shovels, wheelbarrows, beef, toothpaste, pencil and vegetable oil was also banned.
   "Nigeria has over the years become a dumping ground for very many cheap, substandard and low quality products from across the world, especially Asia.
We cannot allow this to continue hence we are placing a ban on these items," the Minister said.
   He said in placing the ban, the government was aware of its obligations under the trade treaties it signed with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
   Chikelu announced that the government would give a 90-day grace period, starting from Thursday (today), to those involved in the importation of the banned items, after which the security and customs agents would be directed to arrest violators.
   Last year, the Nigeria Customs issued an ultimatum to owners of supermarkets to get rid of banned goods in their stalls or have them seized.
   The government last year banned the importation of wheat flour, sorghum, poultry products, vegetable oil in bulk, gypsum, mosquito repellent coils and second-hand clothes to boost local production, enhance the performance of the national economy and safeguard the health of the citizenry.
Also banned were used tyres, gaming machines, used fridges and air-conditioning units, used compressors, bagged cement, vehicles of any kind through land borders and vehicles that were above eight years from the date of manufacture.
The import ban also affected textiles of any kind through land borders, printed fabrics (Ankara), cassava and cassava products, containerised goods through land borders, fruit juices in retail packs, table water (spring or sparkling), spaghetti and noodles, among others.

08 january 2004 11:45:00

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