The chairman, Senate committee on industry, Senator Kamarudeen Adedibu, has criticised the Federal Government for granting licenses to individuals and companies for the bulk importation of cement, targeted mainly to increase the supply of cement, so as to reduce the cost of the product in the market.
Speaking at a workshop on cement industry: "The Way Forward" organised by the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN), Adedibu said importation was a wrong way to solve the problem.
"Granting of licenses for bulk importation of cement to reduce market price is a wrong way to go. What the government need to do is to improve the already existing cement factories.
According to him, "the challenges in the industrial sector are man-made and the cement industry is not alone. There is need therefore, for the Federal Government to address the problems confronting the industrial sector as a whole. Factories are closing down and this has led to increase in unemployment with its attendant increase rate in crime in the country.
He noted that the problem of the cement industry was not new in Nigeria, adding that what has happened to the cement industry was the same thing that happened to all other industries.
Adedibu urged the government to support the industrial sector by giving incentives and provision of infrastructure and other amenities if the vision 2020 must be realised.
He disclosed that the Senate has formed the "National Industrial Plan" to solve the problem of the industrial sector and urged the Federal Government to use excess crude oil account to boost the industrial sector.