Abuja, July 13 (IANS/MAP) The Nigerian government was on Thursday urged by a key expert to lift a ban on import of some luxury goods.
Fitzgerald Umah, the Chairman of Lagos Chapter of Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the government could increase import duty on these luxury goods, instead of placing a total ban on them.
The NIA chairman said the government should be more concerned about implementing policies that would promote bilateral trade between Nigeria and other countries.
“The fact the country wants to encourage local manufacturers to increase local productivity does not imply that total ban will be placed on majority of imported goods,” Umah said.
He said that the world is changing and it is a global market where international trade is necessary.
“I do not mean government should allow importation of inferior goods like tooth-pick, plastic, matches, among others… But luxury and essential products like floor and wall tiles, furniture, WC toilet system and the likes can be allowed into the country,” he said.
Umah said he was concerned because some of the banned luxury goods were being smuggled into the country in spite of government’s ban and restriction.
“Therefore, it is not a wise decision to ban these goods because they will still be smuggled in and no payment maybe paid to the government and government stands to lose.”