Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has commended the Abia State Government for flagging off the proposed Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP) in Owaza, in Ukwa West Local Government Area, an oil and gas-bearing community.
They urged the State Government to put in place the necessary infrastructure that will attract investors to the park.
Francis Meshionye, president, MAN gave the commendation this Friday in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, at the 36th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Imo/Abia States branch of MAN.
He also advised the Abia State Government to ensure that lands in the AIIP are allocated to genuine manufacturers to build their factories and not to land speculators.
Meshionye promised that MAN would continue to contribute to the industrial development of Imo and Abia States, but pleaded to the State to support manufacturers to stay afloat, create jobs and increase its contribution to the State’s internally generated revenue.
He said that the poor performance of the national economy in the last few years, which the federating States are part of, has made it imperative for State Governments to understand and appreciate the contribution of the real sector in job and wealth creation, to institute a more effective and efficient consultative mechanism with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
He said it was to ensure the sustenance of the existing manufacturing companies that are on the verge of collapse under the weight of overwhelming infrastructural and regulatory challenges.
Some of these challenges faced by manufacturers in Imo/Abia according to the MAN President are multiple taxation, insecurity, kidnapping, sit-at-home declarations on Mondays and poor road infrastructures.
Some of the bad roads identified by MAN in Imo State are the old Nekede Road, Owerri-Onitsha Roads, and the Industrial Layout.
In Abia, MAN urged the State Government to fix the Aba-Azumini-Opobo Road, Osisioma Industrial-Adaechi-Guiness and several internal road networks that are in a deplorable state.
He urged the states to look into MAN’s requests in order to boost industrial activities and expand opportunities for jobs and wealth creation activities for the citizenry in the states.
The MAN President however, applauded Imo State Government for its investment in road infrastructure, especially the construction of Okugwe-Anara Road, Owerri-Onitsha Road, by Mgbidi-Oguta junction, and Owerri-Orlu Road.
This is a he also thanked the Imo State for helping MAN to acquire land at Owerri Airport Junction for the building of its secretariat.
“In Abia, we have seen efforts made by the government to patronise and encourage Made-in-Nigeria products. Manufacturers have also observed the reduction of touting in the state,” he said.