‘Policy inconsistency affecting real sector operators’
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has attributed the dwindling fortunes in the real sector to inconsistency in government policies and harsh business environment.
Indeed, MAN expressed concerns over the present economic situation in the country, adding that restricted access to foreign exchange has equally remained a challenge limiting the growth of the sector.
Giving a report of the association’s activity in its Abuja chapter, the Executive Secretary of MAN, Okpe Sunday, lamented that those wishing to import items that are raw materials cannot source foreign exchange locally for their shipment while at the same time, exporters cannot use their proceeds to ship them into Nigeria.
His words: “Worse still, proceeds of export domiciled in one bank cannot be transferred to another bank going by the recent monetary regulation by the CBN. The government recently relaxed the policy regime except for the 41 items still retained.”
Sunday also said the removal of fuel subsidy had adverse effect on manufacturers as they could not pass the bulk of production on consumers due to the already difficult economic situation in the country adding that the delay in getting the 2016 budget through also made the sector to stand still for a long time.
He said despite the numerous economic challenges of the country, the nation is still under threat of unbalanced international trade agreement such as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), being proposed by the European Union.
The association however commended the Buhari administration for putting the interest of local manufacturers first before considering any external approach on EPA. It called on the government to tailor its economic agenda on what will improve the lot of the private sector.
The Chairman of MAN Dr. Shittu Titilola, said the association is worried that key operational challenges ranging from dearth of infrastructure, inadequate access to long term financing, multiple taxation high lending rate and sundry challenges which had forced some companies to shut down still plague the sector in the 2015 financial year.
She said the trend had made some manufacturers to reduce production thereby forcing them to reduce their work force which has further compounded the challenges of unemployment in the country.
She added that the association will continue to advocate and work with government to ensure that manufacturers enjoy easy of doing business thereby increasing the wealth of the people and the economic growth of the country.
The President of MAN, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs, called for the consideration of resource-based industrialisation and greater utilisation of local raw materials for production.
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