By NKIRUKA NNOROM
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Apapa chapter, has raised concern over the inconsistencies in government’s policies, saying that it is stifling the expected growth in the manufacturing sector.
The association’s chairman, Mr. John Aliyu, who spoke at the 41st Annual General Meeting in Lagos, said that looking at government policies and programmes, more often, there is a disconnect from the intended target, which acts to lower the effect of such policies on the economy.”
His words; “When you look at the 7-point agenda of Mr. President, vision 20:2020 and the transformation agenda, you will realise that incentives that can bolster our industrial base are taken into consideration but the challenge facing the government has always been poor policy implementation.
“An example is the issue of power which is germane to rapid industrial growth which has remained unresolved. The advent of global trading is staring us in the face; therefore depending on our individual ‘generators’ to power manufacturing is an unacceptable mode of power generation for a sustainable business growth in a competitive global economy.”
He observed that Lagos State, for instance, has taken steps to open up the state for economic activities through the Lekki Free Trade Zone and creation of more industrial estates, but regretted that some policies guiding manufacturing in the sate were rather militating against growth in the sector as they tend not to be investment friendly.
Accordingly, he said there is need to refocus and re-energise the industrial sector to make it more vibrant and add value to the nation’s GDP.
He appealed to the state government to review the new traffic law which prohibits movement of trucks from 6am to 9pm, saying that this would surely affect the movement of raw materials and the entire distribution chain.
He further appealed to the state government to address the incessant traffic snare at the Apapa axis of the state, saying that it has resulted in either the closure or relocation of over 20 companies in the area to other places.
“The challenge facing the current government is to arrest the continued decay of major infrastructural facilities, especially in the power sector, provide adequate security by enhancing the operational capacities of the law enforcement to deal with the rising wave of crimes and terrorism in the country,” he said.
The theme of the association’s 2011 AGM was ‘Investment incentives as Growth Drivers for the Economy.’