Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga
Manufacturers in the country have criticised the four per cent contribution of the sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in comparison to most emerging economies and developed countries where the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP averages 46 per cent.
The manufacturers however believe that certain policies, if put in by place by the Federal Government, are capable of raising the sector’s GDP contribution by 11 to 14 per cent in the next three years.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria stressed that based on an integrated approach that addresses sector-specific issues and recognises the important role of manufacturing, particularly SMEs in the generation of substantial employment, the federal government should adopt a more realistic approach to boost manufacturing in the country.
According to the President of MAN, Kola Jamodu, transforming the manufacturing sector into a dynamic and virile sector of the Nigerian economy is a central part of the strategy of the Vision 20:2020, which envisages a long-term intensification of Nigeria’s industrialisation process and movement towards a knowledge driven economy.
He stated that if government should adopt and implement MAN’s proposals on policies, it could help to position the manufacturing sector for greater performance and fast track the realisation of the national vision of becoming one of the top 20 economies by 2020.
“MAN recognises the need for government to establish a strategic direction for manufacturing in Nigeria through the urgent development of petrochemicals, iron and steel and other engineering infrastructure which will provide the solid foundation for the attainment of Nigeria’s rapid industrial aspiration.
“This also applies to technical education for the development of human resources required for the purpose,” he said.
He underscored the need for government to review and strengthen the agricultural policy of the country as there is a direct link between agriculture and manufacturing via agro-allied industries, which have a high potential for backward integration and job creation.
He blamed government for the main challenges militating against the growth of the sector such as a difficult and unfavourable operating environment due mainly to acute infrastructure deficiency in the nation; irregular supply of industrial fuels arising from epileptic operation of local refineries; and high cost of alternative power supply to industries resulting in uncompetitiveness of locally produced goods.