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Lobby wants government to rein in cheap imports

19 June 2015, 09:23 Nyamota Obare

Nakuru - Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) wants the government to rein in cheap imports and tighten its grip on counterfeit goods to spur economic growth in the country.

KNCCI Nakuru chapter chairman, Kamu Njuguna on Thursday blamed the closure of local industries on cheap imports saying they were crippling local manufacturers.

“Recently, battery maker Eveready closed its Nakuru dry cell plant citing unrelenting competition from low-cost imports. The government must step up war on such imports to rescue local manufacturers,”said Kamau.

The KNCCI official praised the recent increase of import duty on sugar to protect local millers, saying it was a move towards the right direction.

“To revive industries that have been closed down especially in Nakuru County, the government must further crack a whip on other cheaply imported goods,” he added.

The business leader warned that counterfeit goods also posed a serious danger to consumers, had an adverse effect on the economy, the survival and sustainability of local industry and the much needed employment.

Read Also: Businessmen want Govt to crackdown on counterfeits

He said importation of sub-standard goods had discouraged foreign companies who wanted to invest in Kenya and other local investors.

“Counterfeit cartels thrive in the country through corruption. I call upon officials involved in the importation of goods to be patriotic and wary to curb entry of such products into the country,” said Kamau.

His call comes amid the closure of Eveready battery factory and Ndume Limited who closed shop citing increased imports of cheaper products especially from China coupled with a harsh tax regime.

Ndume was launched in 1959 as a manufacturer of posho mills and later diversified into making a range of modern agricultural machines such as ploughs, water bowsers, tractor trailers, planters, harrows, brick-making machines, water pumps, shredders and scrappers.

Motor vehicle seller and body builder Sam-Con Limited, Nakuru Blankets, Premier Dairies, Rift Valley Hatcheries, Rift Valley Refrigerators, Coil Products, Gohil Soap Factory, the nostalgic Mbuni ink maker as well as soda maker and Flamingo Bottlers Limited have also closed shop in Nakuru.

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