The Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has expressed dismay over President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent visit to Turkey to boost bilateral trade on electrical and electronics products manufacturing under the Turkish Electro Technology Exporters’ Association.
The trade mission, involving 23 Turkish electrical and electronics product manufacturing companies, is expected to showcase Turkish goods, electronics, cables and electrical production and distribution equipment.
The NIEEE said it was shocked and disappointed by the development, which it described as a policy somersault and out of tune with the government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
He said, “It is also an indication that the government is not informed or lacks knowledge on the happenings in the sector. The Nigerian electrical and electronics products manufacturers have been operating under severe and intense suppressive and oppressive economic conditions, which have led to loss of tens of thousands of jobs in recent times and which have negative effects on a lot of our members.
“Many of such companies have scaled down operations or closed down for lack of enabling policies and support. It is pertinent to inform Nigerians, who may not be aware that Nigeria produces some of the best wires and cables of low and medium voltage, power transformers, electric meters, fittings, lightings, etc. that can compete favourably with any such imported products based on engineering tests and performance.”
Akinwole stated that many of the electrical and electronic product assembly plants in the country were operating below capacity or closing down due to unpredictable policies from the government.
“The government’s intention to open our door to 23 Turkish companies through its bilateral agreement is an aberration and an attempt to unilaterally kill local manufacturing companies and further suffocate the economy through import-oriented policies. Our economy growth plans should support Nigerian consumption and production for export, as we have the capacity to dominate sub-Sahara Africa as a first step,” he added.
According to him, the government should discontinue slavish policies of importation and focus on formulating policies that will enable local manufacturers in the sector to tap into the potential that abound in the emerging power sector and grow the economy.
He added, “The nation needs investors and not product marketers. We stand against products dumping in Nigeria of any form. While we may admit that there may be room for a few of these products, the government should encourage these companies to set up their plants in the country as a regional hub to develop our market , enhance balance of trade, promote technology transfer and boost exports.”