THE SUBSIDY REGIME NIGERIA NEEDS, BY SANUSI
THE Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has faulted critics of government's sustenance of subsidy in the economy, stressing however, the need to ensure that only critical sectors of the economy enjoy the incentive.
Speaking after commissioning the new factory of Superflux International Limited, manufacturers of stationery products and security printing documents, in Lagos, on Tuesday, Sanusi pointed out that even in the developed economies, subsidy is embraced by governments as the need arises.
Stressing that Nigeria could not be an exception, Sanusi, however, faulted a situation whereby subsidy is given to petroleum importers. Rather, he canvassed subsidy for the building of refineries, the provision of infrastructure and the development of agriculture.
According to him, 'we don't subscribe to subsidy for petroleum importers. Instead, why not subsidise refineries to reduce the foreign exchange that goes into import? Why not subsidise power? Why not subsidise other infrastructure? Why not subsidise agricultural production as opposed to the situation where many make millions from fertilizer? So, the ideological opposition to subsidy is not the issue. Its where you provide the subsidy that matters'.
The apex bank chief, who commended Superflux for its progress in the manufacturing business, also stressed the imperative of government's support to manufacturers.
According to him, Nigeria would not develop if government failed to encourage those who move from trading in primary products to production.
His words: 'No country in the world has ever developed by selling primary products. There will be no development if you don't encourage producers. We must therefore encourage companies like Superflux, which has moved into production'.
To the CBN governor, it is the real production that creates jobs and it is only a vibrant real sector that can allow millions of Nigerians to earn a living, compared with instance to the stock market which only benefits a relatively few number of Nigerians.
The Managing Director of Bank of Industry (BOI), Ms Evelyn Oputu, said the bank's appreciation of the role of the industrial sector to economic development informed its support to operators as much as statutory rules permit.
She assured Superflux and other industrial firms that BOI would always lend a helping hand since that was in fact the reason for its existence.
Significantly, the occasion also marked the presentation of the Nigerian Industrial Standard ISO 9001:2008 certificate to Superflux by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The out-going Director-General of SON, Dr John Ndanusa Akanya, commended Superflux for the achievement and described the certification as very worthwhile in the current competitive market environment.
Represented by the company's Director of Enforcement, Mr Bayo Adegun, Akanya stressed that quality is extremely important in expanding organisation's local and export trade capabilities, raising the competitiveness of its services and goods in the market and thereby improving the organization's image.
He added: 'In today's business environment, the challenges of globalisation are the driving forces for doing business and maintaining relevance at both national and international markets. Considering the ever- changing customer requirements and the role of competitiveness in the global market, only organizations that have what it takes to remain afloat in the precarious market can survive. This is the quality edge'.
The Chief Executive Officer of Superflux, Mr Tokunbo Talabi, assured that the company would continue to set the pace in products and services delivery.
According to him, 'Superflux was birthed to constantly stir up stereotypes, dormancy and status quo, with the sole aim of finding new ways of handling situations. We aim to be barrier breakers in all our endeavours, and this has shown in the type of businesses we have ventured into over the years, many of which have been entirely new products, services and concepts in Nigeria and the subcontinent'.