‘Prolonged border closure will reduce capacities of manufacturers’
•Local producers advocate increased value-addition for economic growth
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has stated that the recent border closure by the Federal Government would reduce capacities of manufacturers who depend on border trade to carry out their activities in the country.
The president, MAN, Mansur Ahmed, expressed hope that the directive would be short-lived in a bid to create a long term sustainable measure to tackle smuggling hindering the growth of the manufacturing sector.The MAN boss at its 47th yearly meeting in Lagos, tagged “Improving value chain in the manufacturing sector for competitiveness and job creation” said: “The border closure is obviously going to reduce the capacity of those who are depending on border trade to produce and do their businesses.
“We expect that this closure is necessitated by the insecurity and massive smuggling taking place, but we expect that it is going to be short-lived to ensure that the government organises itself to create a long term sustainable measures to tackle smuggling that will help manufacturers to grow.”He said this year’s event is about improving value chain in the manufacturing sector for competitiveness, growth and job creation.
“Manufacturing activities cut across different stages and it is important that at every stage of the value chain, there is enough capacity and support to integrate various value-chains so that value moves from the beginning to the end. Very often, the people who produce the initial goods do not make as much money when compared to the people who carry out the final processing of these goods,” he said.
“For example the Nigerian cocoa farmer will produce cocoa and sell it abroad, but what we find is that at the end of the day, the total value of the guy who converts the cocoa into chocolate makes 90 per cent or more of the total value while the guy produces the cocoa makes 10 per cent or less. So it is important for any economy that wants to improve its economy to ensure that every part of the value chain is maximised so that the value of the product and business is shared by all the participants and this means that we have to use of our local materials.
“The more we use more of our local raw materials, the more our manufacturers expand, grow and employ more people and the more they create value as a whole. Made-in-Nigeria is not only consuming what you produce, but producing what you consume and it is the best way to enrich your country and the best way to spread wealth and alleviate poverty”, he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Wakali of Adamawa, Ambassador Hassan Adamu, urged Nigerians to patronise Made-in-Nigeria products, adding that it was the only way to create wealth and job opportunities for the nation’s teeming population.
“My advice is that we must use Made-in-Nigeria; we must use what we produce and consume what we produce. No country can be great without the support of its own people. The issue of insecurity is largely due to the high unemployment rate and if this sector is being supported, they will create more jobs and more opportunities to make peace,” he said.
The Director General, MAN, Segun Kadir, in his remarks said for quite a long time, manufacturers have had to grapple with supply side constraints that limited local producers’ competitiveness, noting that for Nigeria to be competitive, it has to take advantage of situations where it has a comparative advantage.
“This is why we decided to link these two by linking value chain to competitiveness and with the oncoming of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), there is need for countries to take advantage of the 1.2 billion people market that we have in Africa and if we are cannot competitive, we will not be able to sell our products outside the country and if we do not take advantage of the value chain that exists within your economy you will not be able to compete in terms of price and there will not be economies of scale,” he added.
“We are using this AGM to signpost the fact that this should be something the government and business men and women should take seriously and what the country should focus on going forward,” he stated.
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