MAN urges FG to incentivise manufacturers, businesses

THE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged the  Federal Government to provide incentives for the manufacturing sector to lessen the burden faced by the sector and businesses through currency crises.

The group said the government needed to protect industrialists and businesses to keep jobs amid Nigeria’s current problems with the foreign exchange crisis.

It also urged the government to focus on trade policy, import duty, incentives for production, and concessions for the economy’s productive sector.


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“Manufacturing sectors are not incentivised. These are sectors that should be deliberately incentivised to protect jobs. For a developing economy like ours, you must subsidize production to allow industrialists to produce competitively and be in business,” former Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce LCCI, Muda Yusuf, told The ICIR.

Yusuf said that amid the country’s current situation, the government – both federal and state – should support agriculture and incentivise production.

“They are getting more allocation now from the federation allocation. We need to see support for the agricultural sector boosted and farmers getting improved seedlings and fertilisers at a subsidized rate,” he added.

The current Director-General of LCCI, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said many manufacturers were considering leaving their business because of the foreign exchange challenges.

“There are so many costs that have gone up, and the foreign exchange crisis has also created problems for manufacturers, many of whom are frustrated in their businesses,” he said.

Corroborating this position, development economics Kelvin Emmanuel urged the federal and state government to have interventions targeted at pruning down food inflation.

“Interventions could be focused on backward integration for fertiliser prices. Fo example, if the government uses the might it has to open farm access roads, it will impact food prices,” he said.

According to Kevin, farm access roads are a major problem. It is so difficult to move food because of bad roads, and many foods go bad from farms in the hinterlands and in the city because of the lack of farm access roads.

“Most governors pride themselves in building roads and bridges, but they don’t pride themselves in building farm access roads.

“The impact of farm access roads on roads in Nigeria will significantly reduce food inflation. Farm access roads, fertiliser, irrigation, and seed varieties are major problems. These are the things that the targeted interventions should address to prune down food inflation,” Kelvin added.






     

     

    According to The ICIR report, food inflation rate in January 2024 quickened to 35.41 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 11.10 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in January 2023 (24.32 per cent).

    In recent years, food prices have been on the rise across Nigeria. The situation became more complex after President Bola Tinubu announced the end of fuel subsidy payments during his inauguration on 29 May 2023.

    The upward trend in the prices of these staples and other products has weakened the purchasing power of many citizens, making it difficult for many households in the country to afford daily meals.

    Forex scarcity, orchestrated by exponential demand for dollars by Nigerians willing to offset bills (school fees and medical bills) abroad and unremitted forex backlogs by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has further mounted pressure on the naira.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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