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MAN expresses concerns over sector performance, dwindling GDP contribution

…LASG reiterates commitment to support sector

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has expressed concerns over the dwindling contribution of manufacturing to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Describing the situation as unfortunate, MAN said the manufacturing sector which has the potential of contributing more than 25 percent to Nigeria’s GDP, is currently doing less than 10 percent,

This was discussed at the 50th annual general meeting of MAN, Apapa Branch themed Current economic challenges: Way forward for Nigerian manufacturers held in Lagos.

Frank Onyebu, chairman, MAN, Apapa Branch, said the sector’s contraction is attributable to various inherent challenges including infrastructural deficiency, insecurity, global and domestic supply chain disruptions, foreign exchange liquidity, weak consumer spending, and high operating costs.

He added that subdued operations caused by the lockdown and other containment measures to combat the pandemic also affected manufacturing activities, noting that the sector’s performance in the first quarter of the year did not reflect its reality.

“These problems have been in existence for decades and manufacturers have tried to proffer solutions by themselves however it needs to be addressed urgently to enable the manufacturing sector contribute its quota to national development,” he said.

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He added that currently, engagements are ongoing with the state government on the indiscriminate imposition of effluent discharge tariff on members as well as the surcharge on water consumption adding that rates are also being negotiated.

He also mentioned the deficit of quality technical personnel, saying that the standard of education in Nigeria has been declining over the years, which has had major impact on the quality of technical staff available for employment in the manufacturing sector.

Mansur Ahmed, president, MAN, said the sector contributing less than 10 percent to the GDP gives reasons for concern, as the manufacturing sector is the bedrock of any thriving economy and the major provider of employment and economic growth opportunity.

“The manufacturing sector is the highest contributor to job and wealth creation, skill development, and technology acquisition, hence there is an urgent need for the State Government to establish a more effective and efficient consultative mechanism with MAN to guarantee the survival and expansion of manufacturing operations,” he said

Highlighting the sector’s major challenges including multiple taxation, overregulation, and outrageous demands by touts, he appealed to the Lagos State government to aid the sector’s recovery by deliberately enhancing the operating environment for existing and prospective industries to thrive. He noted that this would enable the sector make greater contribution to the State’s economy in particular and the Nigerian economy at large.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor, Lagos State, represented by Olalekan Ogunbowale, Director of Industry, Lagos State Government assured MAN of the State’s commitment to support the real sector of the economy.

“We are not resting on our efforts to put infrastructure in place for industries to grow. We believe in this sector because it creates job opportunities and wealth for the State and the country at large,” he said.

In view of this, he stated that an avenue for better engagement is being established by the governor in order to provide an expressive platform for sector players where solutions can be proffered.

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