Delivering his welcome address at the 46th Annual General Meeting of Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Ikeja Branch, the chairman, Rev Isaac Ade Agoye, said it was necessary step that would offset the faltering and slothful domestic demand.
Ade Agoye further called on the government to introduce new incentives and faithfully implement existing concessionary duty rates on raw materials not available locally.
He said, “The government should also ensure the immediate crafting of a National Policy on gas pricing that will eliminate monopoly and reduce the number of beneficiaries on the value chain as quick wins that will improve the lot of manufacturing concerns and cushion the effect of the seemingly intractable business environment.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria should be mandated to quickly put in place strategic framework that will enable banks resume normal lending to the real sector at single digit interest rate to avert further strangulation and total collapse of business activities in the economy.”
He affirmed that qualifies a nation for the tag ‘developed economy’ is the presence of a virile manufacturing sector, adding that Nigeria would remain in the community of developing countries except the enabling environment required for manufacturing to thrive is created.
However, all hope is not lost yet, but government needs to urgently and seriously consider some of the issues militating against manufacturing and deliberately put in place a mechanism that will bring down the cost of doing business and enhance competitiveness, he stated.
On energy supply to industries, Ade Agoye said, “The recurring debacle of unavailability and un-sustainability power (energy) did not allow the manufacturing sector to attain its full capacity and operate optimally, as cost of sourcing for alternate power (diesel) eat deep into operational cost, leaving an insignificant profit margin.
“The current comatose state of the oil and gas sector that ideally should be the engine of wealth creation, growth and development in the country is worrisome. The 2012 MAN Economic Survey of 470 member-companies revealed a mixed performance during the year under review. Average capacity utilisation declined by 2.21 percent from 48.90 percent in December 2011 to 47.82 percent in December 2012.
“However, on half-yearly review basis, industrial capacity utilisation recorded improved performance of 49 percent in the first half of 2012 when compared with the closing figure of 47.82 percent for the second half of the year. The gradual upward movement in the capacity utilisation that was recorded in the first half of 2011 started to fall by the last half of 2012,” he added.
In his review of the branch activities for the year, the Executive Secretary, Mr. Joseph Emoleke, explained that the pace of activities tripled in the year arising from imbued responsibilities to serve members impeccably and timely.
He added that response time to members’ complaints and agitation was prompt and service delivery was excellent.