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‘Nigeria needs N770b yearly investment for real sector’s funding gap’

By Joke Falaju, Abuja
20 September 2019   |   3:14 am
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that about N770 billion investments would be needed yearly to bridge the financing gap in the country’s real sector.

Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that about N770 billion investments would be needed yearly to bridge the financing gap in the country’s real sector.

Quoting from the research by KPMG on behalf of the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Executive Council, Osinbajo lamented that despite the increased funding by the Nigeria Development Bank and Bank of Industry, there is a huge funding gap that needs to be filled to impact the manufacturing industry positively.

The Vice President, who spoke yesterday at sixth yearly general meeting of the Abuja Branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), with the theme: “Optimising the long-term Interest Rate of Nigerian Development Bank for Manufacturing”, stressed that more funding opportunities would be required to meet the need of over 40 million Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

Osinbajo, who was represented by the Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan, pointed out that to ensure growth in the real sector, government is poised to address some of the challenges faced by the manufacturing industry.

These include access to finance, unfriendly business policies, bureaucratic bottlenecks in doing business, power and infrastructure challenges, smuggling among others.

He added that with the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFA), the manufacturing sector will be able to access a significantly expanded market while facing stiff competition at the same time.

He stressed the need to assist local manufacturers to achieve the required level of quality and scale-up of their operations to compete and thrive effectively.

MAN President, Mansur Ahmed in his remark, emphasized the need for the federal government to jettison its idea of increasing VAT as such move would be counterproductive especially in the light of high build-up of unsold inventory in industries.

He added that there is a high probability that the move will fuel inflation, and worsen the competitiveness of local products.

The MAN President who was represented by the Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir further stressed the need for the state government of Nassarawa, FCT and Niger state government to establish a more effective and efficient consultative mechanism with the manufacturers to ensure the sustenance of existing Manufacturing companies and establishment of new ones.

On the signing of the AFCFTA by the government, MAN President noted that to douse the tension of their members’ skepticism on the negative impact the agreement may have on Nigerian traders, government has assured them that they would enhance the capacity of the manufacturing sector to take advantage inherent in the Continental Free Trade area and also mitigate the multifarious risks.