Manufacturers in the country have painted a gloomy picture of the industrialisation drive in Nigeria, if the Federal Government fails to act swiftly to tackle the challenges.
The immediate past president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Dr Frank Udemba Jacobs, highlighted the challenges during the 46th Annual General Meeting of the association in Lagos, with the theme; “Mainstreaming Industrial Policies to Catalyze Industrial Renaissance”.
While also lamenting, the rising inventory of unsold finished products manufacturers have recorded in the last one year.
Jacobs, whose 4-year tenure elapsed, handed over affairs to the new President of the Association, Engineer Mansur Ahmed.
“It is no longer news that manufacturers are still faced with numerous challenges that are largely responsible for the not too impressive performance of the manufacturing sector and the uncompetitiveness of Nigerian manufactured products”.
“These challenges are still manifesting in the form of high inventory of unsold finished products, inadequate electricity supply, frequent increases in electricity tariff in the face of poor services from distribution companies and abnormally high interest rates.
Others are: high excise duties on some products, inadequate trade facilitation infrastructure, expensive price of natural gas, unfriendly port environment, multiplicity of taxes/levies/fees, exorbitant cost of haulage, congestion at the Lagos seaports arising from the non-functionality of other seaports in the country, high incidence of smuggling and counterfeiting of locally manufactured products, to mention but a few”.
Jacobs highlighted the crucial role the sector has to play in the Nigerian economy, if only the government can speed up process that would lead to a quick repositioning.
“The manufacturing sector has proven to be the heart of industrialization and driver of sustainable and inclusive economic growth in developed and developing economies.
In fact, no economy will experience sustained growth without a vibrant manufacturing sector. Therefore, Government needs to speed up actions that would lead to the quick resolution of these constraints in order to reposition and further improve the performance of the manufacturing sector”.
President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo who was the Guest speaker, also highlighted the role Nigeria has to play in ensuring that the economy of Nigeria and that of Africa becomes self-sustaining through adequate policy formulation and implementation.