Manufacturers Set Economic Agenda For Buhari
NIGERIAN manufactures have released their economic agenda for the Muhammadu Buhari led administration, saying the country could become one of the 10 great nations, if followed to the letter.
Under the aegis of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the manufacturers said for the country to unlock her potentials, there was need for sound and stable macroeconomic and regulatory environment, blended with adequate human capital, innovation and technological transfer, good basic infrastructure, adequate power supply and consistency in government policy.
In their economic and industrial memorandum already sent to the president as a guide for his administration, the manufacturers lamented the low performance of the manufacturing sector, which has hitherto failed to meet its target of 23.36 per cent contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), especially in the last 10 years.
The contribution of the sector to GDP in the last 10 years stood at a yearly average of 4 per cent, although it “leap-frogged” to 9.83 per cent during the third quarter of last year, due to rebasing of the economy.
In the memorandum, the manufacturers said the leap in their contribution to GDP last year was in contrast to what happened in emerging economies with an average of 46 per cent of contribution to GDP of their respective country.
The challenges of the manufacturing sector were grouped into infrastructural, cost, environmental and social challenges.
According to them there was need to provide adequate power, improve the poor road network in the country, make available rail services and improve port services in order to reduce cost.
The manufacturers urged President Buhari to reduce interest rate on borrowed funds, provide long term loans, solve the problem of multiplicity of taxes, reduce cost of local inputs and reduce cost of self generated energy by ensuring 24 hours power supply in the country.
They also identified inconsistent government policies, increased trade malpractices, such as smuggling, dumping and faking of made-in-Nigeria products, and overlapping functions of regulatory agencies leading to duplication On the way out, the manufacturers said there was need to create solid industrial base as well as a national engineering culture for the economy, saying it would lead the country on the path of industrialization and advancement.
They, therefore, emphasized the need for stability in the polity and security in order to make Nigeria a destination for foreign investment.
“Over the years, Nigeria has been faced with a distressed economy leading to inability to provide jobs for its growing population.
Since the commencement of democratic governance, issue of good governance, transparency and accountability have been stressed.
The ability to attract investor will depend on their perception of the level of political stability, internal security and corruption.
These are necessary conditions for engendering investment and accelerating the development of the economy in general and the manufacturing sector in particular.”
On the threshold of technology required to drive industiralisation, the body of manufacturers urged president Buhari to use available channels to build the country’s technological base in order to meet the target of NV20: 2020.
The memorandum from the real sector to the new administration covered all aspect of the country, including power sector.
Other recommendations contained in the manufacturers memorandum to the president include: The recently established Development Bank of Nigeria dedicated to industrial development should be fast tracked. Government should recapitalized Bank of Industry to ensure that the needed financing of industry is attained.
Government should not enter into any partnership agreement that will undermine the industrialisation and growth of the Nigerian economy.
Enforce the patronage of made in Nigeria goods Ensure the diversification of the economy by enhancing entrepreneurship operators and facilitate the promotion of creative funding source, such as venture capital and equipment leasing. Development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES). Reduce high cost of doing business in Ngieria and removal of multiple and illegal taxes and levies.
Fiscal policy review by reviving the Tariff Review Board to review recommendations from the tariff technical committee, and reduction in the cost of Governance, by reducing the number of political appointees, Election of members National Assembly members on part-time basis, streamlining of ministries, department and Agencies (MDAs) and strict compliance with the procurement Act in the award of contract.