BY PROVIDENCE OBUH

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN)has lamented that the Nigeria’s Manufacturing Industry has suffered from neglect as a result of Nigeria’s high dependence on the oil and gas for over 90 percent of her revenue.

Chairman ofApapa Branch of the Association,Mr. John Aluya,stated this during the association’s 40th Annual General Meeting AGM   in Lagos.

According to Aluya, as government tries to diversify the economy through efforts of encouraging bailout funds for re-financing of loans which was to help the banks meet up with their financial commitments, lamenting that the greatest challenge facing manufacturers in time past has always been inadequate infrastructure and lack of power supply.

He pointed that despite Federal Governments’ set target of generating 6,000MW of electricity by the end of 2009 from the estimated national demand of 20,000MW, notwithstanding manufacturers have continued to generate their own private power to compensate for the spotty supply from the state.

“Manufacturing industries in the state generate approximately 72-75% of their own energy needs. Operating these generators greatly increases the cost of manufactured goods which is passed on to the consumer, thereby making it difficult for made in Nigeria goods to compete favourably with imported goods. ”

He pointed that the manufacturing sector contributed 4.19 per cent GDP in 2010 compared to 4.21 per cent in 2009, stating that the GDP has changed little over the years despite the disbursement of N200 billion for refinancing loans by the manufacturing industry.

“This is a clear demonstration that the loan was targeted to clear the books rather than assisting manufacturers,” he said.

He stated in spite of the challenging business environment, the Association’s account for financial year ended November, 2010, showed an increase of 58 per cent revenue, representing a figure of N15.25 million over a figure of N9.67 million in 2009, while expenditure climbed to a figure of N10.26 million representing an increase of 81 per cent over the sum of N5.67 million.

However, he assured that the future of manufacturing in Nigeria is encouraging as strategies are in place to further advance advocacy machinery that will facilitate a more healthy governmental relationship, expansion of target market through cross border trade linkages and export drive.

Giving the branch report, the Executive Secretary Mr. Kanayo  Iwuchukwu said 2010 was momentous for the branch as appreciable successes in branch administration, subscription drive and outlook of the secretariat was greatly achieved saying these drove our machinery of constructive engagement for the productive sector for positive results.

He explained that the global standards for assessing manufacturing sector’s performance   within which the Branch operated in the past one year revealed the performance to be marginally improving.

“This was not unconnected with the CBN bail-out funds for the manufacturing sector. However, the reach of the fund could have elicited more growth in the sector had it been targeted at providing the needed funding for increasing capacity other than debt owed banks by industries.”

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