As NACCIMA laments AfCFTA challenges
By Providence Adeyinka
Manufacturing sector operators have indicated that many factories may not open for activities next month due to the impact of COVID-19 fallouts as well as scarcity of foreign exchange supply.
Dropping this hint at the 2020 Workshop of the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria, CICAN, the Acting Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mr. Ambrose Oruche, said that the manufacturing sector has been near dearth before lockdown, because of the neglect by government.
He stated: “During the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic most countries stopped sending their raw materials to us and then most industries began to shut down. After that there was a foreign exchange (Forex) issue that was threatening the survival of the manufacturing sector.
“It would be difficult for some of the manufacturing companies to come back in January 2021.
“The raw materials are being exhausted and the forex to get the raw materials and the spare parts are not being released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Is not their fault, because the inflow of forex has reduced and that already impacted a sector in dire need of help.”
He, however, commended the CBN’s N1 trillion intervention funds for the real sector but lamented that the gesture would not solve the problem of the sector.
Oruche stated: “I want to put on record our appreciation to the CBN for its interventions. But how far could those interventions go? Many that have been able to access the N1 trillion could not buy machines for their production because of foreign exchange scarcity and you know that most of our manufacturing depends on imported raw materials, spare parts and machinaries.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, has said that the Nigerian economy must be repositioned, especially the manufacturing sector by improving infrastructure such as power, roads, rail and ensure efficient functioning of the Ports, to enable her compete effectively and successfully under the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA.
Speaking at the workshop, Director General, NACCIMA, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, said, “We must also reposition the Nigerian economy especially the manufacturing sector by improving infrastructure such as power, roads, rail and ensure efficient functioning of our Ports. This is to enable us compete effectively and successfully under the AfCFTA.
“We must encourage private sector operators to key into the AfCFTA essentially because they will be the key players under the Agreement.
“And finally, the issues of security of lives and livelihood must be on top of the agenda and the various challenges across the country which manifests in various ways must be effectively tackled and definitively resolved.”