‘Our Economy Is Still Fragile,’ MAN President Tells Buhari

President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Mansur Ahmed on Wednesday told President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigerias economy is still fragile despite progress recorded.

Ahmed said despite the significant progress recorded in the last four years, it is clear that our economy is still fragile.

With the GDP at 2.0 per cent and below the population growth rate, the clouds are still threatening and the task of driving the economy upwards is still enormous.

Members of the National Council of MAN had earlier visited President Buhari at the State House in Abuja. And they were led by Ahmed.

The Council asked the Federal Government to do a lot more in improving power and transportation.

They also suggested how to tackle the nation’s power challenge, noting that companies with large power needs to draw directly from the grid instead of through distribution companies

 

Decision On AfCFTA Will Be Guided By National Interest Buhari

President Buhari while receiving National Council of the MAN led by its President Mansur Ahmed said Nigeria will be guided by national interest in taking any decision on the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The President said he is ready to receive the report of a Committee set up to assess the potential costs and impact of signing the agreement establishing the AfCFTA for Nigeria.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

President Buhari also recalled that the Presidential Steering Committee on the AfCFTA Impact and Readiness Assessment Committee was inaugurated on October 22, 2018, with the mandate to assess the extent to which Nigeria was ready to join the agreement, and what the impact of doing so would be.

The Committee was initially given 12 weeks to conclude its assignment, after holding wide consultations with industry groups and stakeholders, including the MAN.

The President told National Council of MAN the AfCFTA is on the agenda for the upcoming AU Summit in Niamey, Niger Republic, in July.

I dont think Nigeria has the capacity to effectively supervise and to ensure that our colleagues in AU dont allow their countries to be used to dump goods on us to the detriment of our young industries and our capacity to utilize foreign exchange for imported goods, he said.

President Buhari also promised to look into the presentation by MAN highlighting issues of concern to the manufacturing sector, namely the AfCFTA, Export Expansion Grant and other incentives, challenges with the 2019 fiscal policy measures, recent increase in NAFDAC charges, the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) (Amendment) Act, 2019, among others.

I assure you that I know the enormity of our problems in terms of population growth rate and teeming young people.

We need to move very fast, and the government will try and encourage you as very much as possible so that the problem of unemployment and the provision of other services relative to our population and state of development can be tolerated, he said.

Earlier in his remarks, the MAN president outlined some credible policies that have driven the economy forward in the first term of President Buhari.

Commending the Buhari administration for consistent efforts to sustain the growth trajectory anchored on improving the business environment, Ahmed recognised the government’s efforts at improving the Ease of Doing Business Project, fight against corruption, focus on poverty reduction, job creation and inclusive growth as well as the launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

He, however, noted that despite the significant progress recorded in the last 4 years, it is clear that our economy is still fragile.

Obiano Meets Industrialists, Seeks Solution To Recession

Obiano Meets Industrialists, Seeks Solution To RecessionGovernor Willie Obiano of Anambra state says his administration is committed to supporting manufacturers in the state to flourish and have their businesses expanded in spite of the current economic recession.

The Governor disclosed this during an interactive meeting with members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the three branches of the Chambers of Commerce in the state at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

The Governor stated that the manufacturers and importers are the key drivers of the economy because their activities create employment and generate money in the economic system.

He expressed regret over the present economic recession and how it has taken its toll on the private sector. The meeting was to identify those problems and see how both the state and federal government can ensure that businesses remain viable.

He intimated them that the Vice President would be visiting the state soon and he plans to identify the challenges facing the manufacturers, articulate them and present them to the Vice President when he visits.

He added that his meeting with the businessmen ahead of this visit would ensure that they speak with one voice on what areas the federal government will intervene as the Vice President plans to also meet with the business community.

Present at the meeting, were some members of the state executive council, and over 60 members of the business community.

The state’s Commissioner for Finance and Development Partners, Mr Ifeatu Onejeme, said that the Obiano administration has distinguished itself in matters concerning the welfare of every organization in the state through genuine commitment to addressing challenges bordering on the well-being of the people.

He also noted that the economic and business policies of the present government will have far reaching positive impact on the economy of the state in future.

In their various remarks, the industrialists noted high cost and scarcity of raw materials which leads to poor production, high dollar exchange rate, and epileptic power supply as major challenges.

One of the leaders of the association, Mr Paul Okonkwo, identified the dredging of the River Niger and compensation to the industrialists for the 2012 flood that destroyed a lot of factories at the Industrial Layout as great steps in the right direction.

He recalled that the past government of former President Jonathan raised up to 56 million naira for them but more needs to be done.

The industrialists also urged the federal government to create a window for subsidized exchange rate for the business class as that is a more urgent need.

Recession: Buhari Commits To Developing Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector

Muhammadu Buhari, Manufacturing SectorPresident Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his commitment to developing the manufacturing sector of the economy as a way out of Nigeria’s recession.

President Buhari made the promise at the annual meeting with members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

The pledge is coming on the heels of serious concerns raised by members of the association regarding administrative bottlenecks which they say affect the manufacturing sector negatively.

Speaking on Thursday in Abuja in company of some of his cabinet members, the President of MAN, Mr Frank Udemba and the President of Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dankote, highlighted some challenges facing the sector.

Other members of the association further sought government’s intervention in the areas of steady electricity supply and reduction of company income tax.

They argued that the manufacturing sector was capable of helping Nigeria overcome its economic recession.

FG Is Committed To Promoting Ease Of Doing Business – Enelamah

Okechukwu-EnelamahThe Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, says one of the key priorities of the government is to promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Mr Enelamah made the statement during a public hearing on Tuesday on two consolidated bills organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce to ensure fairness in economic activities in Nigeria.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill seeks to establish a commission to regulate competitive activities in every sector of the economy.

The bill, which is co-sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, aims at promoting and protecting a competitive market from unjust business practices.

Mr Dogara was represented at the public hearing by Honourable Pally Iriase who stressed the need for the establishment of the commission.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Commerce, Honourable Sylvester Ogbaga, identified the bill as a way to aid the diversification of Nigeria’s economy and create jobs.

The Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry also advocated for competition laws to strengthen the nation’s economy and recommended the quick passage of the bill.

Other agencies and groups, however, emphasised the need to strengthen regulatory bodies.

Participants at the public hearing agreed that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill would encourage foreign investments and facilitate the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in the country.

The approval of the commission  had earlier been given by President Muhammadu Buhari few days ago, according to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

A statement by a spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said Professor Osinbajo announced the approval of the commission while presiding over the first Quarterly Consultation between the presidency and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria on Friday afternoon.

Nigeria Approves High Level Commission On Ease Of Doing Business

Yemi Osinbajo Nigeria VP on Ease Of Doing BusinessPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the formation of a Presidential Commission on ease of doing business in Nigeria, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said on Monday.

A statement by a spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said Professor Osinbajo announced the approval of the commission while presiding over the first Quarterly Consultation between the presidency and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday afternoon.

Professor Osinbajo said: “The commission will have a secretariat to be headed by a private sector professional”.

He explained that the chair would lead the secretariat of the Presidential Commission that would now pay even greater attention and focus to the issues of doing business in Nigeria.

At the consultation, MAN raised among many concerns, their worries about cases of multiple taxation. In response, the Vice President promised to follow-up on the matter.

Professor Osinbajo said: “One of the key issues the presidential commission which I am heading would be looking at is the case of multiple taxation. This is also an issue that the Ministry of Trade and Investment is also actively engaged with”.

Economic Sabotage

At the end of the meeting, the President of MAN, Dr. Udemba Jacobs while speaking with reporters expressed concern about the acts of vandalism regarding the nation’s oil and gas installations in Niger Delta, describing such as economic sabotage.

“The association is happy about what the Federal Government is doing, but we are concerned about what is happening in the Niger Delta area which is a kind of sabotaging the economic activities of government and therefore we want to call on them to lay down their arms in the interest of the country,” Dr Jacobs appealed.

He called on the militants to join hands with the government and move the Nigeria forward.

The MAN President stated that diversification of the economy was the best way to go now, given what is happening in internationally.

He said the association was “keying” into the government policy in terms of diversification of the economy by doing their best to increase the capacity of production.

There have been resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, with attacks on oil and gas installations.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks that have forced some companies to shut down production.

Consumer Protection Council Urges Manufacturers To Provide Storage Facilities For Products

Dupe-Atoki (1)The Nigerian Consumers’ Protection Council has given a six month ultimatum to manufacturers and dealers of food and drugs to provide proper storage facilities for their products or risk confiscation.

The Executive Director of the Commission, Mrs Dupe Atoki, urged manufacturers to use the period to train distributors on how best to store their products. She called on regulators and manufacturers to ensure that quality products and services are produced and delivered across the country.

Mrs Atoki was speaking during a forum organised for manufacturers and consumers of goods and services in Nigeria, for the purpose of sensitising them on the dangers of ignoring expiry dates of products.

The organisers say some manufacturers and dealers have taken undue advantage of consumers’ ignorance to flood the market with expired products.

Apart from the Consumer Protection Council, members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and traders association appear to be speaking with one voice at the forum.

If those words are matched with action, it appears there is tough time ahead for manufacturers and distributors of expired products in the country.

Vision 2020: M.A.N tasks FG on National development

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, says it has compiled a blue print of how maufacturing can help Nigeria in achieving the vision of becoming one of the top industrialized nations by the year 2020.