Nigeria: MAN presents 10-year blueprint to accelerate development

MINA Blog- The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Tuesday, presented a 10-year blueprint to accelerate the development of the sector.

Engr Mansur Ahmed, MAN President who made the presentation on the sidelines of the second Adeola Odutola’s lecture to commemorate the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) 50th Annual General Meeting said it was backed with recommendations and roadmap targeted at growing the sector.

The event in Lagos, had as its theme: “Agenda Setting for Industrialising Nigeria in the next decade.”

He said the crafting of the blueprint identified the centrality of manufacturing to industrialisation and economic prosperity of Nigeria.

Ahmed said that the document made key projections on manufacturing growth, export of manufactured products, contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment in the next 10 years.

“This policy document for the first time outlines what should be the manufacturing philosophy of Nigeria and clearly defines its objectives.

“It reviews the current status of the sector and highlights the peculiar burdens that manufacturers have carried over the years.

“For sure, blueprint 2.0 has identified policy options and the relevant government agencies to implement them and also set out plausible timelines for effective implementation.

“If diligently implemented, the suggestions would not only restore the fortune of the manufacturing sector but also redirect the Nigerian economy in the path of steady growth and sustainable development,” he said.

Ahmed also tasked the Federal Government to address incidences as increasing tax heads, inability to access credit and foreign exchange amongst other constraints limited the manufacturing sector.

He said that the performance of the manufacturing sector had been constrained by familiar challenges and that the increasing incidence of new tax heads payable by manufacturing concern was a major threat to the sector’s survival.

Ahmed said that the expectations of manufacturers going forward was that government would properly structure the tax system to be more progressive by widening the tax net.

He added that government was expected to harmonise business taxes/levies and put in place a comprehensive and integrated framework that would facilitate the intentional movement of operators in the informal sector to the formal sector.

Ahmed expressed hope that following the stable high crude oil price in recent times, government would intentionally intervene and ensure that more foreign exchange is made available to manufacturers.

“Equally challenging is the issue of inadequate supply and high cost of electricity, which is due largely to limited investment in electricity value chain.

“We want government to upscale efforts at improving power generation capacity, to take advantage of the abundant gas resources in the country by promoting more gas fired electricity plants.

“We urge government to allow manufacturers to access gas at the prevailing export price and classify manufacturing concerns as strategic user of gas to reduce the current high cost of energy and improve the competitiveness of the sector,” he said.

Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, said the Federal Government in its bid to accelerate the country’s pace of transformation and further drive its economic diversification mandate was committed to actualising its industrialisation agenda.

To this end, the Minister, represented by Mr Adewale Bakare, Director of Industrial Development, said that government would continue to pursue five pillars toward the industrialisation agenda implementation.

“The manufacturing sector would enable the country to fully utilise its endowment and depend less on foreign supply of finished goods and raw materials for its economic growth, development and sustainability.

“The ministry under this present administration is committed to creating an enabling environment for industry, trade and investment in the country.

“We would also intensify the implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan, attract long-term local and foreign investment and champion the cause of Nigerian MSME as a means of creating jobs. “The ministry would also continue in its integration of Nigerian businesses into the global value chain,” he said.