Dealers Decry Illegal Importation Of Footwears


Dealers in footwears in Rivers State have called on customs and immigration to nip in the bud activities of some illegal immigrants who allegedly import contraband goods, particularly footwears into the country.
The Federal Government had in 2008, placed a ban on the importation of footwears into the country, with a view to encouraging local manufacturers.
But dealers in footwears at the New Layout Market, Port Harcourt, alleged that some Chinese were still importing contraband goods into the country despite the ban, an action they described as outright flouting of the nation’s law on importation.
These items, according to the traders, flood the market, thereby preventing them from marketing their locally manufactured footwear.
When The Tide visited the New Layout Market last Tuesday, most of the traders lamented poor sales owing to what they described as infiltration of shoes and sandals from China .
One of the traders, Ebere Obisike, said: “Apart from importing items termed contraband into the country, they connive with some banks and individuals to open accounts that will facilitate the importation of these items.
“They know what the law says concerning visitors to the nation and owing a bank account, but they have deliberately decided to connive with some unscrupulous Nigerians to violate the law.
In her contribution on the issue, a footwear dealer, Mrs Eunice Green stressed that government should lift the ban on the importation of footwear to enable the subsector function effectively.
“I use this medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to lift ban on the importation of footwear into the country to enable the sector to function effectively. The government of the day connived with some international communities to bring hardship to the people in the provision of footwear instead of fetching the locally made shoes and sandals”, warning that without reversing the trend, the government would be in for more troubles.