The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has assured local manufacturers of the federal governmentâ€™s determination to provide an enabling environment for their businesses to thrive.
He noted that the government is poised to solving all the problems faced by manufacturers, hence, the formation of the industrial council and the executive order on ease of doing business,
He urged the private sector to as a matter of urgency engage government to make it happen.
Enelamah disclosed this yesterday when he led delegation from the ministry, the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to some companies in Lagos and Ogun States on a tour of manufacturing companies nationwide that started from the South-west zone thursday.
The companies visited were Fidson Pharmaceutical Plc, May and Baker in Ogun State and Kimberly Clark in Lagos, makers of essential baby care like diapers.
At Fidson, the minister and his team were received by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr. Fidelis Ayebae and his management team.
They ran the minister through on how the company was conceived and the achievements it had recorded over the years.
At May & Baker, the Managing Director, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, explained the difficulties in assessing loans to sustain the operation of the pharmacentre and the cost spent on power which he put at N500 million annually.
He emphasised that cost of doing business is going up significantly and pleaded with the minister to come to their aid with policies that will make local industries fully recover from its losses.
Okafor commended the minister for not passing the Common External Tariff (CET) law mooted, as he said it would have killed their business because it gives undue advantages to foreign brands to import finished drugs into the country without paying tariffs.
The same challenges were outlined at Kimberly Clark and the management urged the minister to intervene in reducing the tariff on imported items and ensure stability of gas supply among others.
The minister added that Public Private Partnership (PPP) is the key to the growth and development of the manufacturing sector.
â€œThe manufacturing sector must partner government to solve the problems they are faced with and not leave government to do it alone so that the diversification agenda can be quickly met.
â€œThere is a determination from government to solve all the problems faced by manufacturers which was evident in the formation of the industrial council and the executive order made to ease doing business but the private sector must engage government to make it happen.â€
He said government is passionate on supporting local industries as the legacy they want to create is to have a right enabling environment where businesses can be sustainable
â€œDiversification of the economy and increase in local production is why we visited the companies to know what their problems are and how we can collectively solve them as people must first accept the problems before solution can be gotten,â€ he asserted.