Mr John Ezeobi, Chairman, Managing Director of Zobis Cables Ltd has called on Nigeria government to provide more enabling environment for cable manufacturing companies in the country.
He said doing so would enable them to compete favourably with their foreign competitors.
Zobis is an indigenous cable and wire manufacturing firm based in Anambra.
Ezeobi told newsmen in Ogbaru on Sunday that most imported wires were largely of poor quality and low price and with suppressive effect on local industry players.
He said importers were only interested in quick profit and were ready to compromise quality provided it would come at a cost that will make the price cheaper than those manufactured in Nigeria.
Ezeobi called on federal government to intensify restriction on imported cables as well as encourage firms with low interest loans and tax holidays.
He said Nigeria cables had been provided to be of best quality across the country because of the strong regulatory and approval process of government agencies like the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)
Ezeobi said quality of locally manufactured cables were reliable provided they passed the evaluation process and got approval from the relevant agencies, adding that no manufacturer would like to ruin his brand because of cutting corners.
The young entrepreneur who said he started as a trading company before progressing to importation said the Nigerian cable industry was stifled because of the negativities associated with foreign substitutes.
“We decided to go into manufacturing because most imported cables and wires do not have guarantee, even when you go to the company and give them specification, they will produce something else.
“When such product arrive Nigeria, you will be forced to sell below cost price to dispose them, you cannot send them back to the country of origin because of huge cost.
“Again, you cannot go the full length of checking the quality of over 10, 000 coils of cable, what that means is that as an importer you are not sure of the quality of what you are selling.
“The advantage of patronising made in Nigeria cables is that there is the Nigerian industrial standard, and if the product in question is certified by the regulator it goes with guarantee.
“Before you move your products out the factory, the quality control department must have done due and thorough checks and if there is a failure, your company sign on the which is compulsory will find you out.
“There are government agencies that regulate the cable market, they are out there checking compliance, if you are found wanting, you will be made to face the law, no producer will like to invest and lose his money to shortchanging the system.
“If you work to build a brand, you will not want to rubbish it and lose your investment because you want to cut cost or engage in unwholesome industrial practice,“ he said.
The Zobis MD who said his products had passed through the Mandatory Compliance and Assessment Programme (MANCAP) of SON and certified observed that poor quality wires and cables were partly responsible for electric fires urged electricians to insist on Nigerian cables.
“I want to encourage electricians and electrical engineers to insist on quality cables made here in Nigeria, not just made in Nigeria but quality ones, they can make their money but not through substandard cables, the consequence is severe on the society.