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15,000 workers in agro-allied industries at risk of losing jobs.

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Former chairman of Association of Aba Industrialists, AAI, Chief Emma Obi, has warned that over 15, 000 workers employed in agro-allied industries in Nigeria might be relieved of their jobs unless the Federal Government stops the current smuggling of banned vegetable oil into the country.

The industrialist gave the warning in a chat with newsmen, and noted that the Federal Government banned the importation of vegetable oil into the country in 2016 and 2017.

The ban made many agro-allied industries in the country that had closed down to commence operation.

 He stressed that despite the Federal Government’s restriction on vegetable oil, smugglers still brought the product to the Nigerian market with the involvement with some corrupt Customs officials

He also commended the federal government for placing the restriction order on the importation of vegetable oil and expressed concern over the incessant importation.

According to him, the rate of importation has increased since last year and has continued to endanger the survival of local industries with its impending loss of over 15, 000 jobs across the country.

Obi explained that there are hundreds of vegetable refineries in the country that have been feeding the nation with their products in the past two years, describing the vegetable oil importation as a scourge for infant industries.

When asked about the authenticity of the smuggled product,  he lamented over the nonchalant attitude displayed by relevant government agencies, adding that they do not perform their duties in finding out whether the imported vegetable oil is good for human consumption or not .

However, he urged the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), to checkmate the activities of his men at the Onne Port to address the situation and save over 15, 000 Nigerians from losing their jobs because of importation of banned vegetable oil.

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