By Theodore Opara
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, has called on the Federal Government to urgently address the seeming imbalance in the cost of doing business in certain locations in the country.
MAN’s President, Dr. Frank Jacob, made the call when the association paid a factory visit to PAN Nigeria Limited, manufacturers of Peugeot brand of automobile in Kaduna, recently.
“There is a need for government to create some kind of equalization or palliatives that will moderate the costs of logistics and infrastructure deficiency to companies in the North,” he appealed. He describe a situation where companies located in the less-advantaged areas pay exorbitant cost to transport their raw materials from the country’s seaports as unacceptable, warning that this ugly trend was capable of closing down there remaining few industries operating in the North if not quickly addressed.
He added: “The lack of access to gas is also another major deficiency threatening the survival and growth of industrial and manufacturing development in the North.” He noted that the costs of logistics and bringing raw materials from sea ports in the southern part of the country to the North are incredible. “This,” he said, “must be addressed otherwise most of them will go out of business.”
The President expre-ssed optimism that the provision of equalization fund or some form of incentives to the companies operating from the northern wing of the country would also go a long way in preventing migration of youths in search of job opportunities from North to South. He also called on the government to implement in full, the National Automotive Policy to boost productivity of local industries such as PAN, which will also put smiles on faces of many unemployed youths by giving them job opportunities.
The MAN boss however expressed amazement with the level capital and human resources in PAN saying the resources on ground is comparable with that of the developed economies in the world. In his remarks, the Managing Director, PAN Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ibrahim Boyi, intimated the team on the challenges and feat achieved by his management in their effort to turn around the company.
Mr Boyi also informed the team that PAN has signed an agreement with its technical partner, the AP France to commence the CKD production of Peugeot 301 model. He further clarified that PAN was the only auto industry in Nigeria that has achieved the enviable feat, so far.