President & Chief Executive Officer, Erisco Foods Limited, Chief Eric Umeofia.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Erisco Foods Limited, Chief Eric Umeofia on Wednesday insisted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other agencies of the government are continuously frustrating the efforts of indigenous manufacturers.
According to him, the apex bank is “marginalizing” indigenous manufacturers by failing to make foreign exchange and local loans available to them, adding that the CBN only favours foreign companies.
He also disclosed of plan to form Indigenous Manufacturers Association of Nigeria to fight for the interest of indigenous manufacturers.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos today, Umeofia also urged the Federal Government to ban importation of all processed food items.
He noted that if CBN has been encouraging indigenous manufacturers as it should, there would have been substantial even development in the country which “will in turn reduce urban migration and criminality to the barest minimum.”
He said: “The CBN has sworn not to make most essential made-in-Nigeria goods available via the starvation of local loans and FOREX to the local and indigenous manufacturers and its excessive selective FOREX allocation on importation of items like fish head, frozen fish, corn and tomato paste in retail packs.
“CBN is making Nigeria to make the same mistakes they made in the past by refusing to support our industries rather they choose to build up our FOREX reserve in line with IMF and World Bank choice that the so-called foreign investors will deplete in few months whenever oil money goes down as we have seen in the past”.
According to him, “The way and manner the CBN is marginalizing the indigenous manufacturers has resulted in the high level of unemployment and poverty particularly in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country”.
Erisco CEO called on the Federal government to ban importation of all processed foods items for the growth of the economy.
He called for equal support to indigenous companies with new credit lines at low interest rate, even as he called for a probe of NAFDAC and other MDAs allegedly frustrating indigenous manufacturers.