MAN proffers strategies for real sector growth, competitiveness

The Director General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Segun Ajayi-Kadir has urged government to ensure a steady flow of foreign exchange allocation to the manufacturing sector for importation of vital raw materials and machinery not available locally.

Speaking at the Business Club Ikeja (BCI) monthly business luncheon recently, he noted that the strategy would enable the sector to increase its productivity and become more competitive.

With the topic “Economic Recession and the Manufacturing Sector in Nigeria: When Industry Falters”, he noted that government should align monetary and fiscal policy measures that would facilitate the availability of long term loans at lower interest rates of not more than five percent for the manufacturing sector. He stated that government should reduce Company Income Tax (CIT) to 20% adding that Singapore and Turkey’s (CIT) are 17% and 20% respectively.

According to him, ‘The Bank of Industry (BOI) should be strengthened and fully capitalized while Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) should be made operational as noted in the 2017 budget.

On the part of the manufacturers, he urged them to key-in into backward Integration; ensure efficiency in production; establish multi-products portfolio; avoid building business sustainability around government incentives; deploy energy efficiency programme; review marketing strategies or evolve new ones and explore the ECOWAS market.

Speaking further, he stated that government must also intensify efforts to maintain the resource-based industrialization agenda which MAN has been championing for decades.

“The government must undertake the development of key selected mineral resources through backward integration especially those with high inter-industry linkages such as iron ore, zinc-lead, bitumen, lime stone and coal. Backward integration should also be encouraged in the agricultural, solid mineral, petroleum and forestry sectors to catalyze the production of more industrial input supply from the sectors”, he added.

Government, he further argued, must Intensify efforts aimed at developing vital infrastructure that will fast track the growth and development of manufacturing industries. With the current infrastructure gap, it may not be advisable to use borrowed funds only to finance infrastructure development.

“The private sector should be actively involved in infrastructure development. Government should, therefore, resuscitate the Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme through the establishment of concession agreements under Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) in road,rail construction and maintenance with credible partners. Effective deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector should also be embarked upon to encourage private investment in domestic refining”, he noted.