The Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mr. Remi Ogunmefun,has stated that despite the challenging operating environment characterized by poor electricity supply, high borrowing cost, infrastructural inadequacies, rising foreign exchange rate, among others, the manufacturing sector contributes an average of 4% of Nigeria’s GDP.
Stating this at the 2015 National Business Conference organized by BNI Nigeria, The MAN DG who was represented by Mr. Femi Gbadegun, senior manager sectoral department, decried the situation where intervention funds made available for the manufacturing either by the CBN or Bank of Industry are under-utilized due to unrealistic collateral requirements from lending institutions. He stated that unless this is addressed, the manufacturing sector will continue to underperform. To ameliorate this predicament, he called for a hastening up of the adoption of the movable collateral registry.
Manufacturing has continued to play a big part in the economy of emerging countries including such as India, Turkey, Thailand and Brazil. India, for instance rebranded and came up with a slogan, “Make in India”, a strategy aimed at making that country a choice destination for global manufacturing. Nigeria, on the other hand is yet to come up with a holistic strategy to attract global manufacturers, making the country to still lag behind its huge manufacturing potentials.
At the event held on Thursday October 22, the MAN DG stated that the 4% contribution to the GDP by the manufacturing sector is due to the resilience and doggedness of Nigerian manufacturers who have had to put up with unsavory situations at every inch of their business.
To ameliorate the situation, he called for a fortification of the backward integration program, a review of the list of banned items on the forex list, ensuring policy consistency especially on export drive and a quick adoption of the movable collateral registry.
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Adebola Olubanjo, International Director for BKR Accounting body, advised manufacturers and other business owners to position their businesses for opportunities in the economy through compliance with legal and accounting provisions. He regretted a situation where local businesses loss out to international counterparts due simply to poor compliance with business rules. He advised Nigerian businesses to take advantage of the BSDP’s of Bank of Industry as a sure step towards accessing facilities from BOI and other banks.
Some participants at the 2015 National Business Conference complained of inadequate information on the various intervention funds and other schemes from the government and its agencies while some also blamed the banks for hijacking the schemes for their cronies and family members. Dr. Olubanjo tasked business owners to “first comply and apply rather than complaining” as government will never bring the schemes to any ones’ premises.