GMA said already, the only two windscreen manufacturing companies in the country, TSG Nigeria Limited, and Isoglass Industries Limited have started reducing their staff strength to cope with the situation and warned that the two companies would be forced to close down should the activities of the unscrupulous importers remain unchecked.
In a petition entitled, "Re; Indiscriminate Importation of Cheap and Low Quality Windscreens From China and other parts of Asia", the association noted: "The importation of windscreens has affected them so badly to a point that they can no longer compete price wise as the importers do not pay the correct import duty (if they pay any at all). We have previously given evidence of this to your Ministry, the office of the Presidency and the Ministry of Industries. At a meeting organized by this Association with the former Honourable Minister of Industry, the Minister directed that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria get involved and as result of this an approved Standard for various types of Windscreens has been agreed to for Nigeria and is being implemented. Since this approval, SON has been taking samples of imported windscreens from Containers in Nigerian Ports and testing them against this new standard".
"99 per cent of windscreens tested have failed the approved tests. This clearly proves our stance that sub standard windscreens are being imported recklessly into this Country, risking life and limb and wasting valuable foreign exchange. It is now vital that drastic remedial action be taken to correct this absurd situation if they are to remain in business. Here, we have a product, which, can be locally made, thus contributing to the National and State economies, being closed down as a result of the mass importation of sub standard products being purchased, with valuable, hard to come by, foreign exchange. These Importers are operating with recklessness and impunity. They must be stopped. In view of the current situation whereby the market is flooded with cheap and very low quality windscreens, one of our Members has embarked on a retrenchment of some workers because it cannot continue to operate at a loss".
GMA added: "If our local windscreen manufacturers are to survive, we need your help and support NOW. We solicit your urgent assistance in getting necessary amendments made to the Customs Tariff through your Ministry. Duty must be increased to 50 per cent and directives issued to Inspection Agencies overseas that care be taken in valuing and certifying invoices of windscreens to ensure correct duty is assessed and paid. Or, if the foregoing is deemed impracticable or Unenforceable consideration should be given to imposing a flat duty per container as per attachment .
Alternatively Windscreens should be put on the list of Goods that are temporarily banned".