• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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NGX Group, corporates seek Government’s intervention in manufacturing sector

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Nigerian Exchange Group and some listed companies have sought the intervention of the Federal Government to ease the challenges faced by the manufacturing sector in the country.

This was stated on Monday during a visit by the Minister of Industry, and Trade & Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, to the NGX headquarters in Lagos.

The visit, which was a closed-door session with select media, offered the players in the capital market a platform to express their challenges and seek commitment from the minister to address those concerns.
Foreign exchange losses and high finance costs have become a recurring trend for players in the manufacturing sector of the economy.

Speaking at the meeting, Umaru Kwairanga, group Chairman of the NGX Group said it was essential for the government to engage players in the capital market. “This is important, so that they can know the challenges and be able to proffer solutions to aid the listed companies.”

Temi Popoola, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group maintained that the economy had seen the worst and that the outlook feels positive. He added that there were areas for NGX to collaborate with the FG in a bid to boost the small and medium scale sector of the economy through improved liquidity. Popoola urged the FG to become intentional about regulations that would improve the activities of the capital market.

Also present at the meeting were management of Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), NGX Regulation (NGX RegCo), Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and BUA Foods Plc.

Ravindra Singhvi, Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Sugar Refinery, lamented the lack of hedging mechanism for their foreign exchange loans and how the high interest rate needed to come down to ease the operations of manufacturers. He said, “There are no hedging mechanisms for us and this leaves us exposed to changes in the currency market.”

Chorusing the call for SMEs support, Singhvi suggested that policies should be made to compel companies to pay SMEs on time, give a certain quota of supply contracts to MSMEs. “There is a need to also promote exports and work on the multiplicity of taxes. Unify it, so that it is the same at the national and state levels.”

Abioye Musibau Ayodele, Managing Director, BUA Foods said, “I think the economy is trying to recalibrate. The FX situation impacted the manufacturing sectors negatively but it did not affect others like that. There is a need to consider aggregating power supply for manufacturing clusters like Agbara because after raw materials, the cost of energy is one of the highest costs.” Abioye also called on the minister to consider extending the pioneer status given to some companies including BUA Foods saying that the company was still expanding.