MAN’s optimism about GDP contribution dwarfed by lingering challenges
Though the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has restated its commitment to improve on its development capacity targeting 20 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by 2030, it noted that lingering challenges continue to undermine its aspirations.
Indeed, the sector’s performance remains undermined by insufficient power supply, high cost of diesel and foreign exchange, and brain drain that is shrinking the labour force.
According to MAN, the sector still depends largely on the black market for over 95 per cent of its forex needs, noting that only five per cent of its forex demand is sourced from the official market.
President of the Association, Francis Meshioye, said to achieve this, the MAN is being strategic in its engagement during this electioneering year to place its issues on the front burner.
In his words: “We have spoken with the current government and we expect that any government that comes in on May 29, 2023, will look into the manufacturing sector. For the forex challenge, we need to also look at how we manage our forex. These are different agendas we should focus on.
“Certain things are critical for us to predict our production costs and at the same time set our prices. Uncertainties in production costs and prices hinder the possibility of any investor bringing in money to invest into the sector, while it also threatens the existing manufacturers to engage with the businesses effectively. Abstract infrastructure is very essential to be addressed to forge ahead.”
He noted that MAN is currently engaging the presidential campaign committees to enable them understand the expectations of manufacturers in today’s Nigeria and the global world as a whole.
MAN President said: “We have engaged the Presidential aspirants on the importance of having a virile and competitive manufacturing sector.
“We have equally pushed at different fora with major political contenders to incorporate the need to accelerate the growth and development of the manufacturing sector in their economic agenda. In this regard, we have availed all the political parties with our Blueprint for the Accelerated Development of Manufacturing in Nigeria as well as the agenda for manufacturing for the next 10 years.”
Meshioye, recalled that over the years, the Association has highlighted the pain points of manufacturers in Nigeria, but has remained committed to its principal objective of advocating a conducive environment where manufacturing business can thrive, so that it can create wealth and employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths in the society.