MAN urges FG to create enabling environment to grow economy
The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to governments at all levels in the country to create an enabling environment for existing industries to thrive and grow the Nigerian economy.
MAN lamented the low level of industrialisation in the country saying the manufacturing sector currently contributes less than 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which it described as undesirable.
According to the association, the manufacturing sector is the bedrock of any thriving economy as well as the major provider of employment and economic growth opportunities.
Mansur Ahmed, president of the association who stated this during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom states branch of the association held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital noted that there is an urgent need for the government to establish efficient consultative mechanisms with MAN to facilitate the sustainability of existing manufacturing businesses in the country.
He expressed dismay that some of the manufacturing companies were struggling under the “weight of overwhelming infrastructure deficit, multiple taxation, irregular power supply and other challenges.’’
He added that the association has embarked on several activities including advocacy for a gas policy and the review of its major advocacy document currently at the forefront of resuscitating the Federation of West African Manufacturers (FEWAM) to improve the business environment.
He commended the leadership of the branch and members for their efforts in contributing to the development of the manufacturing sector as well as the endorsement of the products of some of the members for high quality and efficient management service
In his address, Giandomenico Massari, chairman of Akwa Ibom/Cross River states branch, called for an instrument to monitor and enforce existing laws and policies aimed at protecting local content producers and services in the country.
Massari noted that though such laws and policies are in existence, “ we are experiencing that practical applications of such regulations, sustain several setbacks.’’
He added that in such instruments, “the operating stakeholders must have a direct role on the control and monitoring of laws while the association should have a pivotal function on that effect.’’
Noting that Nigeria needs more manufacturing than trading, he said for the country to move forward, “there must be a break from the past while the operating environment must be conductive and peaceful free from criminality and fear.’’
He listed the achievements of the branch which he said included raising the bar in building a better relationship with the federal and state governments, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, commercial banks and other business relationships in addition to strengthening implementation of the made-in-Nigeria exhibition.
Earlier, Offiong Eyo Essien, executive security of the association called for the “harmonisation of taxes across the states and local governments, protection of local industries from unfair competition by checking the influx of fake and substandard products and encouraging patronage by governments”
The association used the AGM to present awards to deserving business leaders and manufacturers as well as government leaders including Emmanuel Ekuwem, the secretary to the Akwa Ibom government who represented Governor Udom Emmanuel at the event.