Two of the leading voices in the organised private sector in Nigeria, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), and the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) have urged the federal government to take a deeper interest in attending to the challenges militating against the manufacturing sector of the country’s economy.
Speaking in different events recently, the Director General of NECA, Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, and the President of NBCC, Mr. Ray Atelley, said that the government should pay more than a cursory attention on local manufacturing and should not throw them to the sharks and leave them to struggle to safety.
Ayorinde said: “We expect government to take more than a cursory look on local manufacturing. If we real want to deal with issues facing our economy, we cannot escape promoting ‘Made in Nigeria’ products.
“There is no option to local manufacturing. It must take place. Nigeria must produce what we wear and eat and we must also export. Those are just fundamentals for national development.
“We expect government to take a deep look at the regulatory and legislative environment to make sure that they are conducive so that all legitimate businesses will operate without hindrance from either the regulators or legislators.”
Speaking in the vein, Atelley, who addressed a press conference last week, said that government has to listen to manufacturers and attend to the greatest headache that they are having, which included power, scarcity of foreign exchange (FX) for importation of raw materials and machineries and influx of substandard competing goods.
He said: “The cost of power has become almost difficult to afford for them. Also, machineries used for manufacturing are imported almost 100 per cent depending on the sector. If you address some of these items you have done a lot. And then there is the influx of substandard competing items into the country. If government do not provide protection and a manufacturer produced an item at N80 and put it to the market at N100 and some body brings in competing item from wherever and sells at retail price of N80. Definitely, the local manufacturer will be marking time with death and before long he will have to shut down because he cannot compete.”