THE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) says contrary to misconceptions in certain quarters, Nigerian companies are neither shutting down nor relocating from the country.
Mr Mansur Ahmed, MAN President, made the assertion on Monday in a Lagos while speaking on the side-line of the opening of the association’s annual Made-in-Nigeria exhibition.
Ahmed stated that rather than the misconceptions, new companies were thronging into Nigeria while more indigenous ones were springing up.
He said, however, that there was the need for the presidential committee on the monitoring of the implementation of Executive Order 005 to be called to action.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Executive Order 005 on Feb. 2, 2018.
It was titled: “Presidential Executive Order for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology,’’
In the main, it directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects.
It also directed the MDAs to maximise in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with science, engineering and technology components.
Ahmed said that the committee chaired by President Buhari and anchored by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology should be mandated to ensure strict compliance with the order.
According to him, ministries, departments and agencies of government that fail to comply with the Executive Order should be sanctioned accordingly.
“Government must do everything it can to ensure that companies operating in this environment remain competitive.
“Policy environment is the first determinant of successful economy and we need these policies that have been created for manufacturing to be sustained.
“There must be no more policy summersaults. Policies on taxation and on the financial services sector that would make credit more affordable and accessible are what the manufacturing sector requires.
“In order to grow the economy, create jobs and increase contributions to government revenue, the manufacturing sector must be supported to scale production through increased capacity utilisation and adequate patronage.
“We also call for the end to petroleum subsidy and the funds redirected to the real sector that produces and exports to generate more foreign exchange for the country,’’ he said.
The MAN president assured manufacturers of the association’s commitment to building on existing capacities and improving on the quality and competitiveness of products.
In his remarks, former President of MAN, Amb. Hassan Adamu (Wakili Adamawa) called for the support of the political class to shore up Nigeria’s manufacturing capacity and the actualisation of the country’s industrialisation agenda.
“Special focus must be on formulating and implementing policies to drive the manufacturing sector.
“Challenges such as multiplicity of taxes amongst others must also be duly addressed by the political class to drive economic growth and development,’’ he said.
Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General, MAN, described the increasing penetration level of made-in-Nigeria goods as commendable.
He attributed the development to their standards, safety and good quality assurance by regulatory agencies and manufacturers’ resilience in spite of the inclement operating environment.
Ajayi-Kadir added that the association had also embarked on several awareness and sensitisation exercises to draw the minds of Nigerians and other citizens to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods.
He noted that government as the biggest spender, as seen in budgets must ensure that MDAs patronised made-in-Nigeria goods and services to give the manufacturing sector the patronage it deserves.
“The monitoring process in the implementation of Executive Order 005 must be sharpened so that any tier of government that does not comply is held accountable.
Government must continue to demonstrate leadership by patronising made-in-Nigeria products,’’ Ajayi-Kadir stressed. (NAN)