Illegal Imports of Steel, Iron Cost Billions of Dollars to Economy

Posted on 14 May 2019

Source: Scrap Monster

The Galvanized Iron and Steel Manufacturers Association (GISMA) alleged that Nigeria loses nearly N53bn per year due to illegal importation of steel and iron products.

According to Obiorah Ifoh, consultant to GISMA, there is a cartel operating in the country, which imports huge volumes of steel and iron products illegally, which are never captured by the Nigeria Customs Service portal. The absence of pre-inspection check of containers has led to surge in smuggled products. Ifoh called upon Federal Government to reinstate pre-shipment inspection so as to prevent the flow of substandard steel products into the country.

He warned that uncontrolled imports threaten the operations of nearly 60% of galvanized iron and steel companies. Further, it may lead to lay-off of more than 50,000 direct employees and numerous employees working in related sectors. Incidentally, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) noted that seven of its members have been forced to fully shut down their production plants, thereby resulting in an overall production loss in excess of one million tonnes per annum.

It is observed that smugglers now use the Free Trade Zones, thereby helping them to skip formal inspection by regulatory authorities. Moreover, they do not pay statutory fees, causing losses of billions of dollars in revenue for the government. The Association repeated their demand for setting up of an anti-smuggling task force to put an end to smuggling of steel and iron products into the country. 

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