COVID-19: NANTS calls for waiver on pharmaceutical products
NNN: The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), has called for waivers for producers and importers of pharmaceutical products to minimise the economic impact of COVID-19.
NANTS President, Ken Ukaoha, made the call on Friday in Abuja while speaking on the need for palliative measures and `constructive re-think’ by governments.
NAN reports that due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, it has recorded price hike in some pharmaceutical products and consumables such as hand sanitisers, drugs, nose masks and hand gloves among others.
Ukaoha, however, said that waivers on pharmaceuticals, medicament and medical consumables should be considered as one of the palliative measures to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
Ukaoha also called for tax holidays for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and local manufacturers across board.
“Government should also consider the removal of all bank charges throughout the period of COVID-19 induced vacation.
“There should be direct allocation of FOREX to genuine importers of essential products or local manufacturers of food items, through the involvement of credible national associations,’’ Ukaoha said.
He further called for decongestion of the ports to allow unhindered facilitation of trade especially in the light of frustrations occasioned by corona virus.
According to him, there should be a thorough clean-up, disinfection and fumigation of the International Airports especially now that they are closed for international travels.
He noted that there should be a partial re-opening of the land border by making Seme-Krake border a pilot for such purpose.
In this regard, he appealed for the creation of a committee comprising NANTS, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Nigeria Customs Service.
He added that the committee would take inventory of goods stranded at the border since August 2019, with a view to identifying and releasing the genuine commodities, especially ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) approved.
This, he said would reduce economic burden on such genuine businesses and avoid punishing them alongside smugglers and other criminals or importers of contraband and prohibited items.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Donald Ugwu
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