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Stakeholders call for harmonisation of trade policies

By NAOMI UZOR

Industry stakeholders  have called for synchronisation of monetary, fiscal and trade policies that will make the manufacturing sector to really operate at its full capacity and contribute positively to the economic development of the country.

They also called on the government to  tackle the incursion of Chinese into small vendor businesses in the country which is taking businesses out of Nigerians.

Baring their minds on how to grow the country’s  economy at  the 41st Annual General Meeting of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the stakeholders said trade-offs that usually results from combination of  policies should be properly weighed and resolved so as to grow the manufacturing base of the economy.

Acting Director General, MAN,  Mr. Rasheed Adegbenro, said government should remain committed to good governance and sustain the current reforms in order to engender stability in the political and economic terrains as these are capable of winning investors confidence.

”Given our level of development, there is need to take concrete actions against trade malpractices such as dumping, smuggling, counterfeiting and  under-invoicing among others,” he said.

According to him, there is the need for greater collaboration between industry and the various research institutes and the universities to ensure proper and adequate harvesting of research products of the institutions and to make education and training very relevant to the needs of the manufacturing sector.

He called for the  revisit  of the erstwhile technical training centres structured to produce artisans and technicians required as middle level manpower in manufacturing.

President of MAN, Chief Kola Jamodu, noted  that there is need for government to tackle the incursion of Chinese into small vendor businesses such as retail trading, textile and electronics .

”More worrisome is the faking and passing off that are carried out in the process of importing their wares. This is gradually taking businesses out of Nigerians. While we appreciate Chinese investment in the country, we do not think they should be allowed to venture into distributive trade. We therefore urge the federal government to look into this situation” he said.

Jamodu explained  that Nigeria faces a significant infrastructure gap which is a major bottleneck to the productivity of the private sector and businesses generally. He said the  country’s infrastructure deficiency  is evident in number of areas- like power, port service, road network, transportation among others.

”Currently, we believe the expenditure on infrastructure needs to be stepped up, so that the nation can catch up with countries that have set standards by prioritizing their expenditure to favour development of infrastructure which correspondingly have put them in the league of industrialized nations” he said.


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