By Franklin Alli
“Manufacturing contribution to GDP rather remained stagnant at 8.74 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019 as recorded in the third quarter, a figure that is slightly below the 8.86 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018. This development clearly depicts that the manufacturing sector is still struggling.”
Mansur Ahmed, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said in his reaction to the recently released Nigeria’s economic growth which rose to 2.55 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
“The statistical narrative of manufacturing growth as reported by NBS showed that the sector sustained positive but meager growth of 0.14 per cent when you compare the reported 1.24 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of year 2019 with the 1.1 per cent recorded in the third quarter of the same year,” said MAN President.
He noted that fourth quarter 2019 GDP growth was positive and progressive but it was still largely below the desirable for a large economy like Nigeria and its population growth rate.
“It is positive due to the fact that it moved a little farther from the negative region and progressive because the nominal figure is trending upward at an increasing rate.
“The real GDP growth rate is impressive in view of the fact that the fourth quarter record represents the highest quarterly growth performance since the 2016, but largely it is below the desirable because the 2.55 per cent growth is still below the population growth rate of 2.6 per cent.”
The association, however, said that it was doubtful that this would be sustained in the coming quarters because of the prevailing unfriendly operating environment.
In order to sustain and to surpass the growth recorded , MAN recommended that the government should ensured that its Ease of Doing Business reforms translated to reduction in the cost of doing business, which might result in GDP growth that would surpass the two per cent projection for 2020.
MAN said given the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement from July 1, the real sector must be encouraged and supported through provision of basic infrastructure, especially electricity; allow manufacturers access to forex for importation of raw materials items that were not available locally.