President of MAN, Mr. Kola Jamodu
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Federal Government to expedite action on its plan to grant tax waiver to manufacturers who generate their own electricity in order to help resuscitate the ailing sector and improve the economy.
President of MAN, Mr. Kola Jamodu, made the call at the close of an enlarged meeting between the Nigeria Economic Management Team (NEMT) and about nine representatives of the association in Abuja.
According to Jamodu, despite the improvement in power supply in recent weeks, which has increased capacity utilisation to about 54 per cent, some manufacturers are still generating their own electricity to ensure that they are in the market.
He therefore enjoined the government to execute the relief package meant to assuage their problems, saying “these are things that would normally have been provided by government. In the last few weeks, we have noticed improvement. What has happened today is that a lot in the manufacturing sector are generating their personal electricity supplies to sustain production”.
The meeting, chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, lasted for about eight hours on the state of industries in the country, which the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, described as being in “disarray and decreasing productivity.”
He said the meeting also looked at the causes of these problems and sought to provide solutions by assessing whether or not the nation is “doing extremely well or we need to do what we need to do.” He emphasised that: “It offered an opportunity for us to hear from them what the issues are and also for them to understand what government is doing about the issues.”
His words: “There is no country that moves from being a small nation to a big one without industries. That is what Nigeria and Africa has not done for many years. That is why Africa contributes only 3 per cent to the global trade.”
“We already have an Industrial Revolution Plan (IRP), which is based on three main pillars: moving our industries to areas where we have big comparative advantage, industrial skills development, and innovation.”
He said with enhanced attention given to agriculture, mining and petroleum, an effort which has saved the country over N200 billion in the cement industry alone, government is set to focus on iron and steel production to galvanise the economy by going into automotive production.