‘Infrastructural deficit affecting production costs, EODB’
The inability of the Federal Government, as well as their counterparts in the States to address the parlous state of infrastructure, continues to affect the ease of doing business (EODB), while also affecting operating costs of many producers, thus making them lack competitiveness.
The Managing Director, FAE Envelopes, Mrs. Layo, Okeowo, has therefore called on the economic managers to urgently address Nigeria’s infrastructure issues in wake of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Okeowo added that infrastructure deficit is still a major challenge hindering the real sector of the economy, explaining that the high cost of doing business is hitting deep into the bottom line of manufacturers in the country.
The FAE boss stated at its sales & distribution conference to reward its loyal distributors across the country.
On the slow pace of infrastructural development, she added that the government is not waking up to its responsibilities, as the level of work to improve infrastructure in the country is too slow.
In her words: “The government is not waking up to their responsibility, they are too slow, their best is not good enough for us. They need to move because we have a business to run,” she said.
She urged manufacturers to keep the passion going to further drive industrialization in the nation in spite of environmental challenges while also appealing to the federal government to follow through with the Executive Order 003 in a bid to boost patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods.
“We have to slug it out even though the times are hard and we would continue to engage government to address infrastructural deficiencies to maximally benefit from the AfCFTA. Everything boils down to money and if other countries can get things cheaper, they would prefer to buy from neighbouring countries instead of Nigeria. We are ready to do our best to manufacture but the government also has to do their own in addressing infrastructural deficiencies,” she added.
“Government is the higher spender and at the end of every year, they should publish procurement details to show they are indeed buying from us to grow the Naira and make the businesses better. Once all these are in place, we would be able to sell cheaper and compete favourably in the AfCFTA,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, FAE Envelopes, Richards Okeowo, called for a review for economic policies, improved power and provision of tax incentives to help investors and manufacturers get maximum return on investments.
He said this was pertinent to keep the country afloat, enhance production for competitiveness and help businesses plan to expand across borders at the forthcoming AfCFTA.
He lauded the distributors for their efforts at meeting up with sales targets in spite of the experiences in the sales terrain.
“Despite the experiences of the recent past months particularly the difficult terrain and threats within and outside the country which is crippling many operations and the slow pace of business, you have done well. In spite of the challenges of 2019, we have moved to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and are preparing to expand scope before the border closure,” he said.