By Nkiruka Nnorom
The Federal Government has been urged to ensure the effective implementation of 60 per cent foreign exchange, forex, allocation to manufacturers for raw materials and machinery importation into the country.
Engr. Reginald IKeh Odiah, Managing Director/CEO, Bennett Industries Ltd, gave the charge at the 9th CEOs/MDs Business Luncheon of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN Ogun State Chapter.
He said that there must be a down-the-line check and monitoring since commercial banks have been given the responsibility for disbursement.
Speaking on the theme of the event: “ Manufacturing in Recession Period: Which Way Forward”, he called on the government to activate some key stabilizers for manufacturing companies that would ease the impact of recession on the sector through reduction in Company Income Tax and other forms of multiple taxation and also retain the current non-excise duty for locally manufactured goods.
Citing the example of 41 items which were recently excluded form official forex window, he emphasised the need for stakeholders in the manufacturing sector to be carried along before any policy that will affect them is formulated to avoid situation worsening policies.
“There must be sincere support for the diversification of the economy through manufacturing developing policies that will be consistent with the support and growth of the manufacturing sector and avoid policy summersaults and inconsistencies that often discourage investment,” Odiah added.
Odiah also called on the manufacturers to key into the backward integration agenda, saying that currently, about 60 per cent of raw materials for manufacturing are imported. “We must begin to make genuine efforts in searching for local alternatives for these raw-materials to sustain production. In this direction, the adoption of resource-based industrialization is recommended,” he said.
In his welcome address, Mr. Wale Adegbite, Chairman, Ogun State MAN, said that despite the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s efforts to address shortage in foreign exchange inflow into the country occasioned by fall in prices of crude oil in international market, manufacturers still continue to face challenges in sourcing forex, which is threatening the survival of most companies.