The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in the sector to save it from total collapse.
Its President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said there was an urgent need to pay attention to the sector to avoid its imminent collapse and attendant consequences on the economy.
He said this had become imperative in view of the sector’s high capacity to transform the economy, create jobs, transfer technology and improve the living standards of Nigerians.
Udemba said that the manufacturing sector could have very high trickle-down effect on many sectors, pointing out that it had the ability to catalyse other sectors, such as agriculture, solid minerals, petro-chemical and forestry, that could produce the needed raw material inputs to be engaged by industry to grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said the Federal Government was compelled to re-strategise and take a serious look at the option of diversifying the economy due to the decline in the price of crude oil at the international spot market where most oil exporting countries, especially those that rely mainly on crude oil have been caught up in revenue crisis.
Describing diversification as the next option for Nigeria, Udemba said the economic downturn had proved that economic diversification is key to pulling the economy out of recession.
He said a number of sectors have been identified for the diversification programme, including agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing.
“Nigeria unfortunately became a mono-product economy with the discovery of crude oil, after allowing the erstwhile foreign exchange earners, including cocoa, groundnut, and palm oil to die,” he said.
“Alongside this, the industrial sector which had started to show great potentials and which was making steady progress in the past was also neglected.
“Unfortunately, income from the export of crude oil was not utilised in developing the necessary superstructure which would have set the pace for the development of an enduring industrial sector,” he said, adding that the solution to recession lies with private sector investment,
Udemba urged the government to support private sector investment by providing the enabling environment.