• Thursday, June 13, 2024
businessday logo


Formulate inclusive policy to drive local manufacturing – Union urged FG

Manufacturers see most growth in business activities in May

The Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) has called on the Federal Government to collaborate with industry stakeholders to formulate an all-inclusive policy to support local manufacturers.

Jimoh Oyibo, FOBTOB president, made the call in Asaba on Friday, at the opening session of the 15th national delegates conference of the union.

The theme of the conference was ”Rescuing the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Industry From the Danger of Collapse”.

According to Oyibo, such all-inclusive policy includes tax holiday and alleviation of financial burden on member companies.

He said that the Federal Government should work closely with industry stakeholders and involve them in policy making decisions that affected the sector to achieve such plan.

”We are confident that with government’s commitment to supporting the industry, significant progress can be achieved,” he said.

The FOBTOB president noted that food and beverage industry was a crucial part of the economy providing employment opportunities to people and contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

He said, however, that several challenges such as lack of stable power supply, rising cost of gas, bad road, increasing transportation costs and multiple levy were impeding the growth of the industry.

”Lack of stable power supply has resulted in reduced production and capacity utilisation. The Food, Beverage and Tobacco industry are among the largest consumer of electricity in Nigeria.

”But poor maintenance culture, inadequate investment and obsolete infrastructure have caused epileptic power supply and this makes it difficult for manufacturers to operate efficiently,” he said.

On minimum wage,
Oyibo said it was regrettable that the implementation of various monetary policies had reduced the purchasing power of workers who now struggle to meet their basic needs.

He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to approve and sign a living wage for Nigerians to make their lives better.

Festus Osifo, president, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), decried that citizens were facing economic challenges, food was an essential part of life.

The union leader, who was the special guest at the conference, said that increase in value added tax and foreign exchange policy had affected the cost of production and impacted companies.

Osifor, represented by Williams Adogbe, a TUC member, assured that the congress would support FOBTOB to ensure sustainable food and beverage industry in Nigeria.

A 15 minutes documentary on how FOBTOB was formed with the aim of advancing the education of members and to secure better living for them among other objectives.

The documentary listed the achievement of the union with about 8,000 members and 49 branches.