Francis Meshioye, president of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said the manufacturing sector could be extinct on the back of rising cost of production.
This was revealed at a media briefing ahead of MAN’s forthcoming 51st Annual General Meeting (AGM) set to hold from October 17 – 19, 2023 in Lagos.
The event is themed ‘Setting the Agenda for Competitive Manufacturing Under the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA): What Nigeria Needs to do’.
“The cost of manufacturing is daily rising owing to scarce and unavailable manufacturing inputs that continue to shrink profitability and threaten the existence of the critical sector of the economy,” Meshioye said.
He said more worrisome is the fact that the sector that should propel job creation, productivity, and economic growth is enmeshed with a series of challenges that constantly limits its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
“Such challenges as epileptic power supply, insecurity, inadequate infrastructure, shortage of foreign exchange and naira depreciation are prevailing issues that are impacting negatively on the sector,” he added.
According to MAN, if manufacturers will compete effectively, then a comprehensive and concerted effort needs to be deployed by the government to overtake the binding constraint that limits local production.
“And seek to attract foreign investment that will bring about a reduction in the forex chase and ensure sufficient forex inflow that the country clearly requires.”
Meshioye noted that the theme of the AGM was couched with a deep reflection over the growth trajectory of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria and Africa.
“In general, we are focused on the role of the manufacturing sector in the actualisation of the AfCFTA and the integration of the African economy as envisioned in the Agenda 2063.
“Our commitment in addressing the challenges from where the shoe really pinches informed the choice of Olusegun Aganga as our guest speaker for the third Adeola Odutola annual lecture,” he said.
He added that the speaker is Nigeria’s former minister of finance and chairman of the economic management team from 2010 to 2011, and later minister of industry, trade and investments from 2011 to 2015.
“He was a major contributor to making Nigeria the premier destination for investments in Africa. For the manufacturing sector to become competitive, we must all not rest on our oars until we can boost a sector that guarantees the sustainability of the economy and improvement in the standard of living of the majority of the citizens,” the president said.