In spite of the assurances last year by the federal government that Nigeria has exited recession, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said the country’s industrial sector has yet to record any growth.
According to MAN, the development does not portend well for the country that is striving to make impact in the highly competitive global economy.
MAN said despite the growth of the Nigerian economy in 2017, the challenges are not yet over as the manufacturing sector is still on the brink of recession and called on the government to take urgent steps to address the challenges facing the sector to enable it make impact to the macroeconomic development of the country.
The association’s national president , Dr. Frank Jacobs, who stated this at the 35th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of MAN Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti States’ branch in Ibadan, also said the situation of zero growth in the sector was an indication that a lot needed to be done by the government to rescue the sector from imminent collapse.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Manufacturing Imperative for Regional Development in South -west Nigeria’, Jacobs said “It is heart-warming to note that year 2017 consolidated the post-recession performance of the economy as there were notable tailwinds in the first quarter of 2018.
“The performance of the quarter can be summed up with the deceleration in inflation rate, growing external reserves account, steadily rising crude oil price, improved purchasing managers’ index and better stock market performance as highlighted by increased market capitalisation and all share index.”
Also, speaking in his keynote address, the Governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi identified specific government interventions aimed at boosting the economy of the state; which included partnership with the Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) among other stakeholders.
“The current administration in the state over the past seven years has been able to primarily ease the process of doing business in the state.
“The strategic policy focus on industrial development in the state has been multidimensional and targeted primary towards the creation of a congenial operational environment for manufacturing ventures to thrive.”
The guest lecturer at the event, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, who is the Director General, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) commission, said the South-west region needs a well articulated development sector to fast track the region’s attainment of the current industrial revolution.
“There is the need for collaboration among government, manufacturing sector and educational institutions to translate policies and innovations to development.”
The Branch Chairman MAN, Chief Kola Akosile said operating cost increased geometrically as a result of myriads of challenges that confronted its members during the year under review.
He highlighted the challenges as increasing number of taxes and levies, Epileptic power supply, inconsistent and uncoordinated government policies and high interest rates on loan among others.
The President of MAN was represented at the event by Director General of MAN , Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, while Oyo State Governor was represented by Alhaji. Olalekan Alli, the Secretary to the State Government.