Olusegun Aganga, Trade and Investment Minister
By Crusoe Osagie
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on governments at both Federal and State levels to come to the aid of their businesses and help the growth of indigenous industries by improving the implementation of investment incentives meant for them.
MAN also expressed belief that the lull in activities witnessed in the manufacturing sector which has negatively affected the growth of the economy can be reversed if governments improve on their investment cultures.
Speaking at the 41st Annual General Meeting of MAN, Apapa branch, the National President of the Association, Kola Jamodu, noted that the problem of manufacturers in the country cannot be solved overnight and the efforts expended on these challenges by manufacturers adds up to make the cost of doing business in the country very high.
According to Jamodu “if Government must save the day, then waivers and incentives should be granted across sectors instead of just to a selected few. To encourage investors who operate on the same playing field, concession must be granted to all members of the sector.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of MAN Apapa branch, John Aluya, said the theme of this year’s AGM ‘Investment Incentives as Growth Drivers for the Economy’ hopefully would send positive signals to government to aid the growth of the manufacturing sector.
“We recognise the need to refocus and re-energise the industrial sector to make it more vibrant and add value to the GDP of our nation; incidentally when you look at government policies and programmes, more often there is a disconnect from the intended target thereby lowering its effect on the economy,” he said.
He also added that the issue of inconsistent policy formulation/implementation has stifled the expected growth of the manufacturing sector.
Aluya also commended the Lagos state government for opening up the economy of the state through the Lekki free trade zone and plans to create more industrial estates. “However, some government policies guiding the manufacturing sector are rather militating against its growth as some of these state government’s policies and laws tend not to be very business friendly,” he said.
In his remark, the guest speaker, and executive secretary of Nigerian Investment Promotion (NIPC) Commission, Mr. Mustafa Bello, said that the theme of the AGM was appropriate given the need to constantly engage in a systematic process of benchmarking, evaluation and structured feedback into policy making through a constructive dialogue based on substantive input.
Bello, who was represented by Mr. Idowu Isaac, said the government remains resolved to transforming the Nigerian economy through appropriate trade and investment strategies.
In her remark the Lagos state the commissioner for commerce and industry, Olusola Oworu, said the state government would continue to maintain and sustain existing infrastructure while also embarking on new projects to boost economic development.
The commissioner, who was represented by the Director of Inspectorate and monitoring in the ministry, Femi Awosanya, said the government was making concerted efforts to eliminate the challenges of collapsing infrastructure, multiple taxations and the duplication of duties by various state agencies.