Nigeria loses N504bn to steel import, smuggling
Local steel manufacturers have hailed the Federal Government’s closure of the land borders saying the move will help curb the revenue loss to importation and smuggling.
They said Nigeria has lost 2 million tons of steel valued at N504 billion from 2016 till date.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja, a steel manufacturer and Group Managing Director of Kam Holdings Limited and Chairman, Basic Metal Iron and Steel Fabricated Products, Dr Kamorudeen Yusuf, said the border closure has substantially blocked huge revenue leakages with smugglers being run out of business.
He said the high-level smuggling of steel ruined many local producers who were heavily exposed to bank facilities but were unable to find market to sell their products to repay the loans.
He said: “I can tell you that from 2016 and till July 2019, Nigeria has lost over 2 million tones of steel” adding that the value is worth over N504bn, about $1.7bn.
“So we have seen a lot of positive impact on the border closure, we are selling our stock and we are now able to service our loans from the banks” he stated.
Yusuf revealed that the era of steel smuggling forced many local companies to close shops and thereby, flushing thousands of workers into the already saturated job market.
“So, I can tell you that the best thing that has ever happened to Nigeria is the border closure. The border closure will enable us realise ourselves as a nation. We are currently losing huge employment due to smuggling of steel into Nigeria. We are not creating employments for our youth. Over 20,000 are on the verge of losing their jobs due to smuggling and dumping of steel in Nigeria.
“The steel rolling mills the government had privatised are struggling due to smugglers.