Manufacturers canvass viable export strategy for economic recovery
The Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Apapa Branch, Babatunde Odunayo has insisted that a viable export strategy is an indispensable tool for the nation’s economic recovery.
Speaking at the 8th edition of Business Luncheon held in Lagos recently, he recalled that ‘Nigeria was one of the largest exporters of agricultural commodities before the discovery of oil and before our focus shifted away from agriculture and agricultural exports. The recession has now brought home the fact of the urgent need that we need to diversify the economy and recreate the opportunity for export.’
With the theme: ‘The prospects for Manufacturing in the Economic Recovery Window Opening up For Nigeria”, he added that there are 45 exportable commodities, 34 solid minerals including significant deposits of uranium.
“Nigerian Breweries and Nestle Foods have succeeded in the use of cassava starch to substitute imported content, with an annual savings of over $4million. At national level, federal government, through policy implementation has succeeded with cement. We need more of such.
“We have a high level of population, 7th world largest. 37.8m in 1950, now over 186 million and projected to reach 210million in 2021, and 300million in 2050; surpassing US population. Percentage of youths under 14 years is 40% (47 million). This is an asset for the future, but a great liability as pressure on facilities, infrastructure and schools will be high”, he said.
Speaking further, he stated that ‘we also need to deepen our economy by transforming from agriculture to industry, and by underpinning such transformational growth with technology. We have neither developed agriculture, nor industry, but we are very high in services consumption: (telecommunication, mobile phones, television and cars, without the relevant manufacturing support.)’
He noted that government must also provide the following for manufacturers: ‘low digit interest rates, road and rail infrastructure, import substitution industrialization strategy, promotion of technological innovation and adoption, promoting linkages between research institutions and the private sector through appropriate funding and extension education.’
On his part, Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo, who spoke on ‘Export opportunities for manufacturers in Nigera stated that there is no better time than now to diversify the Nigerian economy.
According to him, breaking into new markets and effectively positioning the Made in Nigeria Brand on the global market is a feat we must and can achieve.
Represented by Regional Coordinator NEPC South West, Babatunde Faleke, he further noted that in order for manufacturers to export their goods without hindrance, they must among other things, comply with government export regulations, certifications and package the goods appropriately.
carry out all necessary analysis on products, obtain all necessary certifications,package and label products appropriately for export, comply with buyers country entry requirement, sending samples to prospective buyers and complying with specific buyers requirement.