The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria is concerned that the sluggish implementation of the 2018 budget will worsen the economic crisis in the country
By Anayo Ezugwu
Worried by the growing rift between the executive and legislative arms of government and slow implementation of 2018 budget, local manufacturers have warned the federal government of an impending economic crisis. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, said the crisis may arise from sluggishness in policy implementation. MAN said that local producers want government to stimulate the economy through increased spending and addressing the lingering challenges in the sector.
Frank Jacobs, president, MAN, said the lingering rift between the two arms of government is affecting economic activities, thus creating concerns about the state of the nation’s economic growth that is already described as fragile.
Jacobs, while speaking ahead of the association’s annual general meeting, said the scheduled 46th yearly general meeting and Manufacturers Annual Lecture/Presidential Luncheon on September 26 and 27, at Lagos Oriental Hotel, will provide opportunity for experts and chief executives of manufacturing companies in Nigeria to evaluate the performance of the manufacturing sector of the economy in the past one year.
According to him, the manufacturing sector in the past one year has witnessed mixed fortunes as well as slow-paced growth affirmed by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS. Though the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, PMI, for August stood at 57.1 index points, indicating further expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 17th consecutive month, the stakeholders urged for fiscal policy measures that check unintended consequences on cost of operations of businesses, adding that inventory in the real sector is on the rise.
There are worries that the inventory may rise further, considering the recursive nature of the delayed budget implementation cycle and prevailing economic condition in the country.
A breakdown of the data from MAN showed that unsold goods in the second half of 2017 was worth N161.53 billion, up from N35.42 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2016, as capacity utilisation averaged 57.13 per cent due to relative stability in the forex market. The increasing number of unsold goods is a reflection of lower purchasing power of the consumers.
It portends job losses and lesser private sector capacity to create jobs this year. He noted that this year’s meeting will address two themes namely, “promoting manufacturing through improved port infrastructure and access to long-term credit windows; and “mainstreaming policies to catalyze industrial renaissance.”
Local manufacturers have insisted on government providing adequate infrastructure and an enabling environment for business to thrive. According to Jocobs, cost of production in the country is presently high and makes products lack competitiveness in terms of price when compared to imported ones.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to attend the event as the special guest of honour while President, Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will be the distinguished guest speaker.
“The Association also intends to use the occasion of the annual general meeting to present a vivid picture of the current realities of citing or operating a business concern, especially manufacturing in Nigeria, show case novel innovations and made-in-Nigeria products as well as collectively agree on workable survival strategies,” he said.
– Sept. 21, 2018 @ 14:15 GMT |