THE GREEK GIFT CALLED LIFTING OF BAN ON TEXTILE AND EXTENSION OF AGE LIMIT OF USED VEHICLES
Recently the federal government announced the lifting of ban on the importation of textile materials. It also announced the extension of the age limit for used vehicles imported into the country from eight to 15 years. Right thinking Nigerians no doubt received this news with shock.
The reason was that not too long ago, the same federal government doled out money that ran into hundreds of billions of naira for the resurrection of the dead textile industry in Nigeria. In the same vein, about two months ago, President Goodluck Rumuebele Jonathan went to Nnewi in Anambra State and commissioned the first privately owned vehicle manufacturing plant in the whole of West Africa and during the commissioning, he commended and at the same time encouraged the effort of the owner of the plant and also said that with manufacturing industries like that, the vision 20 20 20 of the federal government which is aimed at making Nigeria one of the 20 top economies in the world by the year 2020 would be achievable. It is very obvious that we cannot be a top economy by being an import dependent nation.
But with the lifting of the ban on the importation of textile materials as well as the extension of the years of used vehicles allowed into the country from eight to 15 years, would somebody be wrong to conclude that we have in government a people that sends one to go and buy salt and at the same time instruct the rain maker to send down the rain.
Some people may argue why should federal government protect few manufacturers against the interest of the masses.
But it is also in this country that early this year, after a minister in the cabinet of president Jonathan had toured a cement producing plant, announced an increase in the tariff on cement importation.
According to him, the purpose was to encourage local production of cement and discourage importation.
But the hidden truth was that after the minister had seen the huge investment the mogul made in the factory, he felt that the man should be giving some advantages as a way of helping him recover his investment and one of them was to discourage importation of cement and that was by increasing the tariff on cement importation which would consequently increase the price of imported cement so that his locally produced cement would attract mass patronage since we are in a country where because of the level of poverty, price plays a major role in purchase.
The only word for this is double standard or different rules for different people, depending on where one comes from.
However, it is only a fool that would think that the present government meant well by increasing the age limit of used vehicles from eight to 15.
The fact is that what is happening now is nothing but the continuation of the economic warfare against Ndigbo which General Olusegun Obasanjo began when he was in office.
I had written somewhere that the biggest problem that the other ethnic nationalities have against Ndigbo is that the Igbo refused to stay down when they were defeated in the civil war.
If you are in doubt, check this out, after Obasanjo had commissioned the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPMDA), located at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, the best organized market in the whole of Africa and built by the Igbo, all the items that would make the place function became contraband. The administration began to marshal out inimical policies against all the businesses that the Igbo have interest as a way of destroying the multi billion-naira investment in particular and other of their businesses in general.
Again just two months after president Goodluck Rumuebele Jonathan commissioned the first ever privately owned vehicle manufacturing plant which was also built by an Igbo man, the age limit of used vehicles was extended from eight to 15 years so that the price of imported vehicles would become two for a kobo without minding the effect on our environment.
We certainly don’t need any soothsayer to tell us what the motive is.But without prejudice, I want to say that whoever is trying to keep Ndigbo down is simply working hard to keep Nigeria down.
Though experience has shown that this clique is ready to go to any length to ensure that the Igbo nation did not survive, let alone make a head way without minding the consequence on the entire country.
If not why would a system, when the whole world is complaining about climate change, is opening its doors wide for the dumping of vehicles that could no longer satisfy the emission standard of their countries of origin.
Again, with vision 20 20 20 which the system said that it is committed to just 12 years away, it is killing local manufacturing industries which would have made the vision possible.This goes a long way to show that the system is prepared to sacrifice everything provided that the Igbo would not fly.
I therefore submit that this is a very clear malice from the pit of hell against a people whose sins are that they are hard working and refused to reject themselves when the system rejected them.
Anosike writes from Satellite Town, Lagos. 0803,5779230.