The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) wants the federal government to effectively enforce the Executive Order 03, which mandates ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the government to grant preference to at least 40 per cent of made-in-Nigeria goods and services during purchases and contracts.
MAN says this will enhance the patronage of made-in-Nigeria products in the country and strengthen sustainable platform through which Nigerians will be sensitised on the need to jettison the current penchant for foreign goods and patronise locally manufactured products.
In two separate papers sent to Real Sector Watch on the review of 2018 budget and the 2018 economic outlook, MAN says one of the broad key enablers of the manufacturing sector this year is the proper implementation of the revised Export Expansion Grant (EEG). The association calls on the government to defray outstanding debts owed exporters in the previous EEG regime.
MAN likewise points out the need to address trade malpractices such as smuggling and fake/counterfeit products flooding the Nigerian market.
“There is a need to thoroughly enforce extant laws on smuggling, importation of counterfeit and adulterated products by appropriate agencies. It is important to engage and train more Customs personnel to tackle the challenge, “MAN, led by Frank Udemba Jacobs, says.
The group equally canvasses strong support for the development and establishment of petrochemical industries in the country, given that it is a critical raw-material source for manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors.
The association urges the government to create an enabling environment and provide cheap funding for resource-based industrialisation programme it adopted, stressing the need fast-track the development of key selected mineral resources through backward integration, especially those with high inter-industry linkages.
“There is a need to recapitalise Bank of Industry (BOI) and operationalise the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) as earlier contained in 2017 budget,” MAN says.
On infrastructure, the association says the sector will be a beneficiary if the government resuscitates domestic refining of crude oil in the country and support the efficiency of power generation, transmission and distribution companies.
“We need to encourage energy mix in the country and solar, wind and bio-gas energies should be explored. It is critical to rehabilitate existing key road networks across the country, accelerate further commitment to the development of the rail system, while engaging in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme through the establishment of concession agreements under Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) in road construction and maintenance, rail construction and maintenance with credible organisations,” MAN advises.
The association stresses that the huge outlay of capital expenditure on infrastructure may not produce desired impact on manufacturing output and employment as well as construction and allied activities, if not properly monitored.
“Nigeria may lose more on the Foreign Direct Investment front (FDI) as investors react to the prevailing economic circumstances of the country and the looming uncertainty that usually characterises electioneering activities. Also, palpable inability to genuinely sustain the current FX supply may lead to further depreciation of the Naira,” MAN warns.