How unfriendly policies, energy crisis undo businesses, by industry chief
Deputy Managing Director of Royal Foam Products Limited, Mohammed Jibril, has said most industries and businesses in the country are underproducing and risk closure due to multiple taxations, lack of access to raw materials and unstable electricity supply, among others.
He said over 50 per cent of the youths in the country could not be employed because several industries were under-producing and urged the federal and state governments to streamline taxes with a view to offering tax holidays where possible.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Enugu depot of Royal Foams, yesterday, Jibril stressed that there was the need to jumpstart the economy and reduce the over-reliance on oil.
On the challenges of the foam-manufacturing sector, he said two major raw materials; Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) and polyurethane resin (POLYUR), which are by-products of crude oil, were are sourced from other countries.
He said: “Looking at the global economic crisis and the fact that these two raw materials are entirely by-products of crude oil, any time crude oil goes up, it affects all the by-products. It is an internationally induced cost. If the price of dollar goes up, it affects us.
“If there is any crisis between countries affecting prices of oil as we have now between Ukraine and Russia and even scarcity of the by-products, it affects prices of the raw materials, which causes increase. But the ability to understand what happens at the international market level and putting measures in place to take care of such shocks when they arise is the key.
“The government should create an enabling environment for people to go into businesses without fear of failure. For example, a lot of people are afraid of taxes, because the level of taxation on businesses in Nigeria currently is very high.”
Jibril, who stressed that there was the need to grant tax holidays to budding companies, added that the government could decide to give new firms five years of tax holiday to help them succeed and employ people, insisting that poverty was pushing some youths into crime.
“The launch of Royal Foam depot in Enugu is to signify our interest in the South East market. It is just the beginning of our expansion in the South East and South-South regions. There is no foam company at the moment in Nigeria that can match the quality of Royal Foam Products,” he added.
Also speaking, the Company’s General Manager (South), Ezekiel Omo Akhiromen, disclosed that the belief of Royal Foam was to give the best quality at affordable prices.