The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has enjoined the incoming administration to initiate steps that would herald the revival of closed and industries in the countries, especially in the North-east and also direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prioritise availability of foreign exchange to manufacturers within its first 100 days in office.
These views were expressed by MAN in a public statement that was titled “Expectations from the New Administration,” and signed by the Director General of MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, in which it tasked the incoming administration to ensure that the Finance Bill 2022, should reflect the critical inputs of the organised private sector by jettisoning the highly objectionable removal of the 10 per cent investment allowance on the acquisition of plants and machinery in the Company Income-tax Act, Section 32.
Ajayi-Kadir said that the new administration must arm itself with a must-do list within its first 100 days after the swearing-in to enable it harvest the low-hanging fruits while outlining its long-term perspective for stabilising and growing the economy.
He said that the new administration should “announce a special policy initiative to address the revival of closed and distressed industries, particularly in the northeast where 60 per cent of our member companies have closed.”
He also demanded that the new administration should “direct the CBN and ensure that it complies with the prioritisation of foreign exchange to the productive sector, particularly to manufacturers to import raw materials, spares, and machinery that are not locally available while taking immediate and time-bound steps to achieve the unification of the foreign exchange windows.”
The manufacturers association further demanded that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission should be directed “to admit all qualified applicant companies into the Eligible Customer Scheme in order to allow them access to power as stipulated in the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.”
It also urged the incoming administration to address port congestion by directing “all relevant agencies of government to ensure that the electronic call-up system at ports aimed at redressing the congestion works without fail.
“Additionally, to ensure that the imposition of the 0.5 per cent levy on eligible imports from third countries is limited to goods that we have capacity to produce locally and quite importantly, exclude raw materials that are not locally available. The input of the organised private sector on the CEMA bill should also be taken on board before the amendment bill is signed into law.”
The MAN also urged the new administration to take a definite stand by ordering the removal of fuel subsidy. “The decision,” it said, “should be outright and immediate steps should be taken to commence the removal.