Nigeria: glass manufacturers urge action over windscreen imports

The Glass Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (GMAN) has said the future of the only two windscreen manufacturing companies in Nigeria is being threatened by the activities of unscrupulous importers …

The Glass Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (GMAN) has said the future of the only two windscreen manufacturing companies in Nigeria is being threatened by the activities of unscrupulous importers of sub-standard windscreens. The association asserts that the companies in particular and the nation in general are losing out annually to the tune of millions of NGN as a result of fraudulent importers. Chairman of GMAN, chief Chris Aviele said that jobs at the two windscreen makers (Isoglass and TSG) are under threat. In total the two companies employ 5000. He welcomed healthy competition as beneficial to all but emphasised that the problem was one of unfair competition as the importers under-invoice, undercutting legitimately priced goods and depriving the Government of import duty. “We have proof of these charges. Their method is to obtain two proforma invoices from the country of origin(mostly Asia). One is the actual invoice showing the correct quantities and correct amount in dollars. The second is a fake invoice showing a similar quantities but a value in dollars of about 16% of the real value. The importers then open letters of credits for the smaller value and difference is paid in cash with our hard earned foreign exchange”. Mr Aviele said the group is appealing to the federal government to direct the Federal Ministry of Finance, which as the supervising ministry, should request inspection agents to do a more thorough inspection as to value and quantity at the point of shipment to forestall underpayment of duty at the point of discharge. An alternative would be for the Nigeria customs service to have a price range of imported windscreens so that it could be guided accordingly whenever any importer undervalues imports. He urged the custom service to raise necessary debit notes for underpayment of import duty whenever any issue of under valuation is noticed and requested Nigerian customs services to be more vigilant at the Port-Harcourt Calabar Ports used by fraudulent importers.