The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have asked the federal government to implement an executive order which will mandate ministries, departments and agencies to patronize locally made products.
Naija News reports that the association made the call yesterday during its 36th annual general meeting themed, ‘Nigeria’s struggling economy/unstable macroeconomic policies: Lessons and challenges for the manufacturing sector’.
Speaking at the event held in Benin City, the Edo/Delta branch chairman of the association, Okwara Udensi, said there are challenges holding back the manufacturing sector in the country.
Udensi identified the factors as shortage of foreign exchange, poor electricity supply, high lending interest rates, and multiple taxes and levies.
He said also that congestion at the Lagos ports is another major factor adversely affecting the productivity of the sector.
According to him, decentralization of power generation, adoption and implementation of the Executive Order 003 will force Ministries, Departments and Agencies to give preference to local manufacturers in their procurement of goods and services.
Udensi said: “The major problems facing our members are shortage of foreign exchange, poor electricity supply, high lending interest rates, multiple taxes and levies.
“The manufacturing sector is facing a lot of challenges and the Federal Government of Nigeria has not given the sector the needed support to provide economic growth and development. The government urgently needs to provide adequate bailouts for the manufacturing sector to avoid a total collapse of the sector.
“It is our expectation that these identified challenges be addressed by the government to move the country from an import-dependent to a self-sufficient and export-based one. This can only be made possible with consistency in government policies that will guarantee the required enabling environment so that manufacturing companies are able to operate at minimum capacity.”
On her part, a professor of Economics at the University of Benin, Mercy Anyiwe, while delivering her lecture, urged the manufacturers to improve their products with technology so as to get good value in the international market.