By Franklin Alli
MANUFACTURERS Association of Nigeria (MAN), yesterday, differed with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, over what they see as high interest rate driven by the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, sustained at 14 per cent earlier this week by its Monetary Policy Committee, MPC meeting.
Accordingly, the Association is demanding a concessionary interest rate of five per cent for manufacturers. In Kenya, interest rate is 10 per cent; South Africa 7 per cent; China 4.35%, U.S.A 0.75 per cent; UK 0.25%, France 0.00 per cent; India 6.25per cent and Brazil 13 per cent, Mexico 5.75 percent; Indonesia 4.75 percent; Ghana 25.5 per cent, Ethiopia 5 per cent.
MAN President, Dr. Frank Jacobs Udemba, said: “The association has done its best on the advocacy on lowering the monetary policy rate”, stressing that MAN would continue to ask for five percent interest rate for the manufacturers “as high interest rate will not favour manufacturing enterprises in the country.”
Fielding questions from journalists on the implication of the current monetary rate to manufacturers, Jacobs said: “We urged CBN to take a drastic action about lowering interest rate for manufacturers. MAN members are not happy about it.”
He pointed out that MAN has been working with Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to make a total content act as a bill to the Senate.
Speaking on foreign exchange, Udemba stated that unavailability of foreign exchange has forced most manufacturers to close shop or reduced their capacity.“Most of our members are depending on black market to source for foreign exchange for procurement of raw material and machineries from abroad which will make us uncompetitive.
“Periodically, we engaged government on the issues of patronage of made in Nigeria products. We have had a forum on it and we have recorded success, today they are coming up with buy made in Nigeria policy,” he said.