Manufacturers across Nigeria who participated in the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NES 22) have called for effective regulatory intervention in order to gain investors confidence.
They also task government on the need to fast-track provisions of critical infrastructure such as power, subsidy for local industries, identify and take inventory of goods produced locally and could substitute imported products on government’s priority list.
The participants also emphasise the need for the present administration to address the funding challenges faced by small and medium scale enterprises, which has the capacity to absorb millions of unemployed Nigerians across the country.
These were part of the breakout sessions of the three-day NES 22, organised by NESG in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning in Abuja.
Segun Adebanjo, principal, Capital Alliance of Nigeria, who spoke on behalf of the group, emphasised urgent need to discourage importation of basic goods, enforce ECOWAS tariff in order to create level playing around for market players, zero tariff on manufacturing equipment and enact legislations that would promote locally produced goods.
He also harped on the need to patronise locally produced agricultural produces for the school feeding programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
In his presentation, Clem Ugorji, director, public affairs and communication for Coca Cola Nigeria, stressed the need to eliminate multiple taxation at all levels and checkmate the immunity mindset of regulatory agencies.
Ugorji also urged various organisations to design internally enforcement and compliance units and put necessary punitive measures in place in case of deviance. Government was also urged to regulate gas price, custom reform and tariffs in the bid to ensure effective pricing and cost efficiency.
Regulatory agencies were also admonished to check in influx of substandard products and place restrictions innovatively despite the WTO agreement.
They also stressed the need to bridge the communication gap between Government and local manufacturers and other stakeholders, by engendering clear communication plan on government policies and compliance.
While expressing displeasure over policy somersault and inconsistency in government programmes and initiatives, the experts demanded for deliberate actions towards reducing the cost of doing business in the country.
Other participants including Indian companies who spoke at the session, urged Federal Government to implement the 20 percent preference granted to foreign manufacturing companies operating in the country.
They also emphasised the need for Government to link all the research institutes to industries in the bid to improve patronage.