The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, has expressed the commitment of the federal government to implementing Nigeria’s industrial revolution plan as a way of further strengthening the sector.
Abubakar who disclosed this yesterday during the inauguration of the Manufacturerer Association of Nigeria (MAN) Large Corporations Group organised by MAN, stated that the initiative when fully implemented, would be a game changer for the country in ensuring the promotion of diversification, effective expansion and utilisation of resources, “where the economy has competitive and comparative advantage.”
She also stated that the programme would provide general and specific action plans, while equally addressing critical issues relating to the manufacturing sector which is aimed at targeting the full potentials, particularly in the areas of building substantial and sustainable employment.
The minister added that large and small enterprises stand to benefit greatly, stressing that the government is still trying to develop an enabling business environment in order to fill in the gaps created by industrial challenges.
“The ministry apart from the industrial policy has a focus on a sustainable economic strategy focused on free market, free entry and exit of factors of production,” she added.
She further explained that the inclusion of natural resources was a good strategy to achieve the set objectives, noting that economic growth cannot be achieved without harnessing the natural resources.
She said the vision of the present administration was to have a vibrant manufacturing sector adequately empowered to produce goods for local consumption and export.
Abubakar added: “As you are aware, the ministry has put in place appropriate policies, programmes and projects aimed at tackling some of the age-long challenges confronting the sector. These changes will not only impact on the manufacturing sector, but other sectors.
“The administration is also concerned about the current foreign exchange crunch which factories are facing and its constant implications particularly on those that have ran out of stock and raw materials. I assure you that something is being done in this regard. This administration tends to work with all stakeholders and focus on this all important sector of the economy.
“The government is not unaware of the challenges manufacturers are facing, the nationwide low capacity utilisation, infrastructural deficiencies in the areas of poor energy supply, poor access to modern technologies, unfair competition and others. The sector is expected to give life to government policies on employment generation and empowerment, but it is being endangered as it has contributed to the rising issues of unemployment.
“This event serves as veritable medium not only for sensitisation, cross fertilisation of ideas and preservation of information, but also an interactive means for critical evaluation and assessing the levels of government policies and programmes of the government. It is also a forum to equally provide the opportunity for us to harmonise and jointly agreed on the way forward, which will make our manufacturers remain competitive globally.”
In his address, the President of MAN, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs, called on the newly-inaugurated corporation to come with policy recommendations to the executive committee and national council of MAN on issues concerning the creation and sustenance of a conducive economic and social climate for the operation and development of large-scale industries in Nigeria.
Jacobs also charged them to strive to provide high level support for the advocacy activities of the association in fulfilment of its mandate of creating a conducive environment for the operation of manufacturing business in Nigeria.
He added: “You should strive to create a platform for the harmonisation and projection of issues that are peculiar and imperative to the profitable operation of large-scale industries in MAN. You should also strive to provide a leading role in experience sharing to improve the manufacturing practice, corporate governance and mentoring.”