April 17, 2024

MAN Reels-Out Recommendation To Help Revamp The Domestic Economy Downturn 

5 min read

The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), as part of its advocacy drive has further expressed concerns on some government policies which has been inimical to the growth of the domestic economy.

The body of manufacturers said, there is need to mobilize our local resources and more importantly, take deliberate steps to overcome the binding constraints that confront the productive sector, noted that this has to be through frank conversations, effective collaboration and bold decision that radically departs from the norm.

Speaking, on Tuesday at the 2024 edition of the MAN reporter of the year award/Presidential media luncheon, Otunba Francis Meshioye, President, MAN, who made this remarks on the back drop of government’s recent policy ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam packs by Lagos State Government and NAFDAC, and ban placed on alcoholic beverages in pet bottles and sachet below 200ml, said the government actions amounted to policy summersault.

According to him, “our country’s economy is in a dire state and our policy makers, more than ever before, need to be intentional about growing the manufacturing sector. There is no country considered as developed that does not give priority attention to the manufacturing sector. There is no gainsaying the fact that manufacturing is pivotal to galvanizing and sustaining the economic growth and development of Nigeria.

“The government needs to come to the realization that a win for the manufacturing sector is a win for the economy and by extension a better life of the citizenry. Government and its agencies should deliberately abstain from taking harmful and inconsiderate policies that lack adequate inputs of key player that would be affected.

“Permit me to make reference to two of such instances. Within the first two months of the this year, a ban was placed on single-use plastics and Styrofoam packs by Lagos State Government and NAFDAC , in similar fashion placed a ban on alcoholic beverages in pet bottles and sachet below 200ml. The former was done outside the timeframe set by the national policy and the latter based on unfounded assumptions; both without due consideration for the economic and social impact of those unwarranted decisions.

“The negative impact of these policies on the manufacturing industries affected as well as the huge number of workers whose jobs are on the line cannot be overemphasized. Additionally, it has become pertinent for government and the private sectors to work in tandem to revamp the ailing manufacturing sector, especially at this time, by exploring home grown policy initiatives that will address are peculiar challenges.

He added, “there is need to mobilize our local resources and more importantly, take deliberate steps to overcome the binding constraints that confront the productive sector. This has to be through frank conversations, effective collaboration and bold decision that radically departs from the norm.

The MAN president who took time to further x-ray the daunting challenges, manufacturers are going through, in the face of the economic downturn, said that, it must be noted that the nation’s economic recovery is highly dependent on the deployment of policy stimulus supported with a synthesis of domestic growth, export focused and offensive trade strategies.

According to him, this will promote resilience, steady growth and ensure that the sector gains meaningful traction going forward.

“As we move in this direction, we are confident that as our partners, you will join us in our advocacy drive to actualize a vibrant manufacturing sector.

MAN’s ECONOMIC RECOMMENDATION FOR GROWTH

To improve the sector in the year, our recommendations are as follows:

1. Expend cost saving from fuel subsidy to deploy a bouquet of production focused policies, backed with more structural measures to combat the peculiar inflationary pressures from insecurity, energy and transport cost.

2. Overhaul the power sector and incentive investment in renewables to boost electricity generation and promote energy-cost efficiency.

3. Government should lead by example and give priority to patronage of made-in-Nigeria product in all its purchases and for all government contracts and projects.

4. Government should mandatorily upscale patronage of made in Nigeria products by deliberately reducing the excessive reliance of the country on imported products.The three tiers of Government should enforce the implementation of the Executive Order 003 in same for their ministries, departments and agencies.Government should encourage local sourcing of raw materials through comprehensive and integrated incentives to address the challenges of low productivity and imported inflation.

5. Utilize the 2024 Budget to sustain effort at improving infrastructural developments, especially in strategic industrial hubs to reduce operation and logistics cost and promote competitiveness.

6. Encourage sub-national Governments and private investors to leverage the opportunities provided by the Electricity Act 2023 to improve energy security in Nigeria.

7. Maintain all measures to boost the level of liquidity and degree of transparency in the official forex window even as the backlog of $7 billion forex obligations is being cleared.

8. Manage the floating exchange rate system within an acceptable lower and upper bound, pending the actualization of a net-exporting economy aspirations.

9. Prioritize forex and credit allocation to the manufacturers and reduce the number of BDCs into large and well-established operators to curb their excesses and untowards operations through effective management and supervision.

10. Encourage inflow of foreign direct investment into pre-determined and domestic production-enhancing businesses.Should intentionally guide diaspora remittances into non-oil sectors, especially manufacturing to aid forex inflows and curb rising inflation.

11. The CBN should intensify its collaboration with the fiscal authority; Federal Ministry of Finance and by extension the Tariff Technical Committee (TTC) for proper policy alignment on the appropriate HS Codes for items that Nigeria has sufficient capacity to discourage importation and save scarce foreign exchange.

12. The apex bank should allow forex access for importation of vital industrial inputs that are currently not available locally and subject them to backward integration policy that gives priority to a predictable sunset clause. MAN offers to be part of a monitoring and evaluation team to ensure that government gets value for incentives offered to achieve this objective.

13. The CBN to develop a sustainable framework to channel credit interventions into the manufacturing sector, outside the direct intervention. Additionally, it should mobilize commercial banks to intentionally provide long term single digit interest loans to the manufacturing sector to fast-track the actualization of a $1 trillion dollar economy.

Below are the names that Emerged as the Winner of MAN 2023 Reporter of the Year Award:

1. A. Winner of the Newspaper Category- Mr Edidiong Ikpoto, Punch, scoring 88points

B. Second place winner Newspaper Category- Mr Taiwo Hassan, New Telegraph, scoring 86 points

2. A. Winner of the Television Category- Mr David Ubabudike STV scoring 81points

B. Second place winner Television Category- Mr Opeyemi Bashorun TV360 scoring 68points

3. A. Winner of the Radio Category – Mrs Ebere Obike Franklin, Radio Nigeria scoring 89 points

B. Second place winner Radio Category- Mrs Sherifat Oyediran, Bond Fm scoring 71 points

4. A. Winner of the Online Category- Mr Ocheneyi Alli, Industrial Digest scoring 85 points

B. Second place winner Online Category, Mr Tony Nwakaegho GenTech News scoring 80 points

5. A. Winner of the Photo Journalist Category, Mr Akeem Salau,Vanguard, , scoring 83 points 

B. Second place winner Photo Journalist Category, Mr Olawale Amoo, Business day, scoring 79 points

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