• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Manufacturers call for increased government support to restore ailing sector

Manufacturers call for increased government support to restore ailing sector

Francis Meshioye, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has called on the government to do more to support the manufacturing sector, which he described as “ailing”.

Meshioye made this call at the 8th edition of the MAN Reporter of the Year Award and the 2024 Presidential Media Luncheon on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at MAN House, Lagos.

He said that the government needs to be “intentional” about growing the manufacturing sector, as there is “no country is considered as developed that does not give priority attention to the manufacturing sector.”

According to him, the government and its agencies should deliberately abstain from taking harmful and inconsiderate policies that lack adequate inputs of key players that would be affected, criticising recent policies by the Lagos state government and NAFDAC, which he said hurt the manufacturing sector and led to job losses.

He cited an example of the ban placed on single-use plastics and Styrofoam packs by the Lagos state government.

“Within the first two months of this year, a ban was placed on single-use

plastics and Styrofoam packs by the Lagos State Government and NAFDAC, in a similar fashion, placed a ban on alcoholic beverages in pet bottles and sachets below 200ml.

“The former was done outside the timeframe set by the national policy and the latter based on unfounded assumptions; both without due consideration for the economic and social impact of those unwarranted decisions.

“The negative impact of these policies on the manufacturing industries affected as well as the huge number of workers whose jobs are on the line cannot be over-emphasised,” Meshioye said.

He called for a more collaborative approach between the government and the private sector to address the challenges facing the manufacturing sector.

“It has become pertinent for government and the private sectors to work in tandem to revamp the ailing manufacturing sector, especially at this time, by exploring homegrown policy initiatives that will address peculiar challenges,” the MAN president said.

He emphasised that there is a need to mobilise local resources and more importantly, take deliberate steps to overcome the binding constraints that confront the productive sector, explaining that this has to be through frank conversations, effective collaboration, and bold decisions that radically depart from the norm.

MAN’s president noted that the nation’s economic recovery is highly dependent on the deployment of policy stimulus supported by a synthesis of domestic growth, export-focused, and offensive trade strategies.

‘This will promote resilience, and steady growth and ensure that the sector gains meaningful traction going forward,’ he added.

To improve the sector in the year, the association recommended expanding cost savings from fuel subsidy to deploy a bouquet of production-focused policies, overhauling the power sector and giving priority to the patronage of made-in-Nigeria products

Others are managing the floating exchange rate system, prioritising forex and credit allocation to the manufacturers and encouraging the inflow of foreign direct investment into pre-determined and domestic production-enhancing businesses among others.