A lobby group is urging the government to crack down on the importation of contraband goods into the country.
The Nakuru Chairman of the Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs), Johnson Ndegwa describes the surge in the importation of contraband goods as a potential “killer” of the realization of the ‘Big Four’ Agenda.
He said that contraband goods undermine the health of citizens and subvert the growth of manufacturing.
The Chairman, said the illicit trade has driven manufacturing industries out of business and increased joblessness among Kenyans.
Ndegwa added that contrabands have complicated the management of terminal illnesses resulting in increased deaths, besides inhibiting economic growth due to evasion of taxes, which the government requires for development.
Speaking on Wednesday during a training of SMEs at a Nakuru hotel, Ndegwa said the forms of illicit trade that inhibit the country’s path to industrial revolution include counterfeiting, tax evasion, the sale of prohibited goods and dumping.
Ndegwa however, commended the government for the efforts made to curb the menace but urged the citizens to be patriotic and resist sabotaging the country’s economy and overstretching the work of the security officers, who have to keep on chasing after them in their hideouts.
He said it was high time wananchi became proud of the ‘made in Kenya brands’ instead of promoting other countries industries and yet there are great juices, alcohol, chicken and even clothes in the country.
“It saddens me that whenever our Kenya Airways goes to Middle East countries our people bring home piles and piles of luggage which in one way or another destroy our industries and the innovative young minds,’’ said Ndegwa.
Ndegwa said it’s imperative Kenyans are encouraged to believe in their own capabilities so that cottage industries can thrive and condemned the negative attitude over innovations by the youth and yet they consist 60 per cent of the population.
“The negative attitude towards young people should end, because whether we like it or not they will be the workers of tomorrow and currently they are the ones driving the SMEs in the country,’’ he said.
By Veronica Bosibori