By Gilbert Ekugbe
” The Executive Order 003 which aims to increase the level of patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods by public procurement agencies.shows that the present administration is serious and we will work with the federal government to ensure that the Nigerian manufacturing sector is competitive«
Engr. Mansur Ahmed, the new President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) reiterated his commitmenst to strengthen the association’s level of collaboration and interaction with the federal government to ensure that the Executive Order 003 is fully implemented to boost local patronage of made-in-Nigeria products.
Speaking yesterday at the 46th Annual General Meeting of the association, tagged: “ Mainstreaming: Policies to Catalyze Industrial Renaissance in Lagos, he said MAN would continue to engage all the MDAs to showcase made-in-Nigeria goods.
“When this contact is made, we would encourage it’s members to compete both in terms of price and quality. I believe if we continue to work with the government in this manner, we would bridge the gap between us and the public sector requirements,” he said.
He ,however, appealed to the federal government to provide the necessary basic infrastructure in a bid to bring down the cost of production for manufacturers in the country, saying that the impact would be massive on the real sector of the economy.
He said the association had already kicked started the partnership by presenting a compendium of all members of the association to showcase to the federal government all the locally produced goods in the country.
“They have to know who and where to contact to get quality made-in-Nigeria goods, so this is the first step we have carried. Our interactions with Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) is also a step in the right direction so that we understand the requirements and their expectations,” he said.
OTHER ACTIONS NEEDED TO BOOST MANUFACTURING
Earlier, Segun Ajayi-Kadri, the Director General, MAN, recommended that actions be taken to resuscitate domestic refining of crude oil in the country, support the efficiency of the generation, transmission and distribution companies and the operability of independent power producers for on/off grid power generation and the Micro Grid Initiative.
He also asked to entrench better exchange rate management to tilt more to the industrial sector including the SMEs, sustain priority forex allocation for raw materials spare parts and machinery to the industrial sector to help keep up with production.
Addressing the multiplicity of taxation, the Director-General called for the commencement of the implementation of the harmonised taxes and levies to be monitored strictly by the Joint Tax Board(JTB) with a view to enforcing compliance by States and Local Governments.
He also called for the reduction of the Company Income Tax(CIT) from the prevailing 30 per cent to 20 per cent to promote higher productivity and employment in the economy.
“The tax net should be explandrd to capture the non-tax paying firms, particularly those operating in the informal sector and not to increase tax burden on the already tax compliant businesses.
He called for the deployment of appropriate border surveillance technology, improved logistic arrangement at the borders and recruit, train and improve the welfare of customs personnel to guarantee efficient border monitoring.
The Director-General in addition called for the monitoring and enforcement of the Executive orders 003 and 005 by the federal government on the patronage of made in Nigerian goods by ministries, department and agencies(MDAs).
“The foreign investment inflow into the country witnessed uptick in the fourth quarter of 2017 from 0.344 billion dollars to 0.378 billion dollars recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 thus indicating a 9.8 per cent increase over the period.
“Manufacturing Sector FDI increased to 378 million dollars in the forth quarter of 2017 from 314 million dollars of the corresponding period of 2016 indicating a 20.47 percent increase over the period.
“Production in the manufacturing sector totaled 9.48 trillion in 2017 against the 8.78 trillion total of 2016 thereby indicating 8 per cent increase over the period.
“However, the value of manufacturing production in the second half of 2017 was estimated at 4.81 trillion as against 5.02 trillion recorded in the corresponding half of 3016 indicating a 4.2 per cent decline over the period.
INVENTORY OF UNSOLD FINISHED GOODS
The immediate president of the Association, Frank Jacobs, said the inventory of unsold finished products, inadequate electricity supply, frequent increase in electricity tariff and abnormally high interest rates were pointers to the challenges manifesting in the sector.
” Inventory of unsold finished goods increased to 161.53 billion in the second half of 2017 from 35.42 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016.
“Inventory of unsold manufactured goods totalled 321.12 billion in 2017 against the 90.43 billion of 2016 thus indicating a 255.19 per cent increase over the period.
He called for the speedy actualization of the recommendations provided by the association via their various advocacy submissions to the Federal Government to further improve performance of the sector.
He lauded the achievements of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council(PEBEC) which improved the nation’s ranking on the World Bank EODB index.