Stakeholders expresses worry over future of manufacturing sector

Stakeholders in the manufacturing sector have have expressed worry about the future of manufacturing in the continent despite the avalanche of human and natural resources available

While delivering his keynote address at the yearly general meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), former President of Tanzania recently, said Nigeria and other African countries will be making a grave mistake if they looked at the development of industries in the world and think that they ought to follow a similar path to that industrial economies have followed, and ignore areas where Africans have comparative advantage.

He however identified four growth pillars as catalysts for accelerated growth of the manufacturing sector and they include, encourage youth and women entrepreneurship; continuous improvement of business environment; adaptation of technology; and adopting effective trade policies.

Despite security challenges in some places, he expressed optimism that Nigeria’s demographic advantages in terms of population size and political stability offers the nation a promising future only if the nation puts its act together domestically and remain on the lookout internationally.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, also announced that his administration has set up an implementation Unit for the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) to closely monitor critical initiatives, periodically evaluate implementation progress against set targets and milestones, provide early warning signals of potential risks and articulate actionable measures to be taken against any identified constraints.‎

The President who was represented by the Minister of State for Bugdet and National Planning, Hajiya, Zainab Hammed during the meeting said with the 0.55 per cent growth recorded, there is need to sustain and scale up reforms to achieve economic growth and development, stressing that in the coming months, officials of the implementation Unit will be interacting with members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) towards ensuring improved performance of the industrial sector.

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MAN President, Frank Jacobs, said the theme of the AGM‎ tagged “Recovery and Growth of the Nigerian Economy” was necessitated by the prevailing economic exigency in the country, the need to overcome it and how to sustain a post-crisis economy.

He added that the issue of power should be given top most priority, pointing out that without adequate and stable power, economic and social development will be a mirage.

“With the prevailing double-digit interest rates, the Nigerian economy will continue to suffer decline. Therefore we recommend, as the Association has done in the past and always, a single-digit interest rate. The aforementioned are critical issues that must be addressed if we want to be reckoned with in the comity of nations as an industrialised country,” he said.