The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele, on Friday advised indigenous and multinational firms to consider the opportunities that Nigeria offers and begin to set up their manufacturing lines in Nigeria.
Emefiele gave the advice at the Local Manufacturing Contract Signing of Oral-B Toothpaste, between Procter and Gamble Nigeria and Colori Cosmetics in Lagos.
According to him, Nigeria should be the first port of destination for anybody that seeks investment in Africa.
“Given our market size and our population, we do believe that Nigeria offers significant advantages for multinational manufacturing firms that choose to invest in domesticating their production lines in Nigeria.
“Not only do they have access to our large market, Nigeria can serve as a base for them to export goods to other markets in Africa.
” Our efforts at putting in policy measures to encourage improved production of made in Nigeria goods is driven out of the need to create jobs and wealth for our growing population.
“The impact of a manufacturing plant also goes beyond its immediate environment, as it also enables the growth of SMEs that work to meet the needs of the manufacturing plants and the staff.
“This is in addition to the skills transfer gains that could be made when our people are able to acquire knowledge on new technological skills.
“This path of supporting domestication of local production in Nigeria is imperative for us to enable growth that is inclusive and sustainable.
“We can’t afford to continue to rely on a model that encourages imports of goods and exports of jobs away from Nigeria, as the ramifications will be huge on our economy,” Emefiele said.
He said that the bank in April 2020 had set up a N1 trillion facility for the growth and expansion of manufacturing firms in Nigeria.
According to him, N300billion has so far been disbursed to 76 manufacturing firms, which will boost local manufacturing across critical sectors over the next few years.
“Our efforts have aided the recovery of the manufacturing sector as reflected in the Purchasing Managers Index which shows that the index on manufacturing activities rose from a low of 42.4 points in May 2020 to 48.7 points in February 2021.
“While growth remains fragile, driving further growth of the economy would require that we continue to support more investments that will enable the growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria,” the apex bank governor said.
Emefiele commended Procter and Gamble for their efforts in localizing production of their Oral Care toothpaste, Oral B in Nigeria.
He said the announcement was a reflection of the efforts of the bank and the Nigerian government in enabling the growth of the manufacturing industry in Nigeria.
Emefiele assured the firm and similar firms that were willing to invest in local production of items that could be made in Nigeria of the bank’s support.
Besides, he believed this would help to enable the build out of a more resilient economy that creates jobs and supports skills transfers for our growing and youthful population.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Procter and Gamble, Adil Farhat, promised the two firms would invest in Nigeria for a long period of time as well as impact more lives.
“It is a great honour to be here today for the local manufacturing contract signing of Oral-B toothpaste between Procter and Gamble Nigeria and Colori Cosmetics.
“As a company, Procter and Gamble is a strong economic partner to Nigeria and we are committed to investing in Nigeria both economically and socially for the long run.
“This agreement signifies a new 35 million dollars investment in the local manufacturing of our Oral-B product in Nigeria which will create new jobs and impact millions of lives through our innovative products,” he said.