Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) says the sector can do more to support the economy if given the necessary fiscal and monetary support by the government and consumers, citing the disbursement of N8 billion in cash and N300 million to provide palliative as a way to cushion hardship experienced by Nigerians and to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Engr. Mansur Ahmed, President of MAN, told journalists today in Lagos , during the Association’s 48th annual general meeting.
“From our record, manufacturers donated about N8 billion in cash and N300 million naira worth of palliative materials to both Federal and States Governments,” he said. .
He noted that local manufacturers are aware of the unprecedented trauma that this pandemic has unleashed on human lives, businesses, health systems, institutions and economies around the world.
“I sincerely appreciate members of MAN for their support to government when it was most needed,” he added.
He stated that as COVID-19 disrupted the demand and supply side of the global economy, it impacted on the domestic economy, especially Industrial concerns.
“The pandemic created unprecedented challenges for economies across the globe as the period under review recorded an unprecedented distortion in the value chain as countries directly or indirectly shut their borders and imposed export restrictions on critical raw materials while some imposed outright ban on food, pharmaceuticals and other essentials.
For Nigeria, the outcomes include lockdown, near shut down of the operations of 8 manufacturing sectoral groups, disruption in supply chain, inventory of unsold items and loss of jobs.”
Regarding the support they required from government , the MAN President, proposes the following:
Goverment should reduce the financial pressure on companies occasioned by COVID-19 by compensating manufacturing concerns that are forced to shut down with 60% of employees’ salaries for at least three months to prevent laying offs of employees and massive unemployment.
Support manufacturing concerns with existing loan facilities by reviewing the terms, especially reducing interest rates to 5% with 2 years moratorium.
For manufacturers that are investing in order to scale up production should be granted loans at 5% interest rate for a period of 5 to 7 years.
These will no doubt improve liquidity and ramp up productivity in the manufacturing sector in a manner that will cover up for obvious losses due to COVID-19.
Prevail on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend its COVID-19 Stimulus packages to manufacturers not covered by existing CBN initiatives. The CBN should also grant manufacturers increased access to Foreign Exchange at pre COVID-19 rate to support the importation of raw materials, machines and spares that are not available locally.
Introduce fiscal measures by waiving import duties on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), other essential products and food related raw materials for one-year effective April 2020;