Through Merit Ibe
the The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has requested support from the federal government to overcome the constraining constraints on competitive manufacturing in the country.
The association’s president, Mansur Ahmed, made the appeal during the advocacy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari recently, where he listed the challenges facing the sector, including, but not limited to, procurement. insufficient foreign exchange, electricity, the impending increase in the tax rate, limited access to long-term funds, low footfall of products made in Nigeria, among others.
Hailing the president for the many initiatives, reforms and policies that have helped stabilize the price of manufacturing, Ahmed added that the government, however, must maintain the implementation of policies that have helped the economy recover quickly from recession, to survive the onslaught of COVID. -19 and relaunch other initiatives which suddenly fell into disuse.
He noted that MAN expects the government to continue to make manufacturing a centerpiece of its economic agenda and the catalyst for increased domestic production, employment and wealth creation.
Ahmed who praised the progress made in infrastructure development; various reforms on the ease of doing business and exemplary leadership in limiting the spread of COVID-19, highlighted that manufacturers continue to struggle with an inadequate electricity supply from the national grid and high electricity tariffs for consumers. distribution companies, associated with the enormous cost of providing alternative energy to more than N72.7 billion.
This, he said, limited the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. “While commending the government for the ongoing reform in the electricity sector, we implore Your Excellency to order that NERC remove all bottlenecks preventing manufacturers from accessing the Eligible Customer Program.”
Regarding poor long-term access, Ahmed said that limited access to long-term loans and the high cost of loanable funds also restrict the sector’s ability to produce at full capacity and negatively affect manufacturing’s contribution to domestic product. raw.
He recommended that a monitoring and evaluation platform involving the private sector be put in place to oversee the allocation of these funds to ensure that the funds are wisely allocated to genuine manufacturers who need the incentives. .
MAN boss urged government to urgently establish the designated competent authority that will oversee the administration of rules of origin and commission the automation of certificate of origin, export and import documentation processes for the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AFCFTA), transactions.
Regarding the impending tax rate, he said the affected sub-sectors are currently moaning under multiple taxes, levies and fees from different levels of government and the disposable income of the average Nigerian is already eroded, causing a high inventory of products. unsold manufactures. While acknowledging that the government must generate funds to meet its growing social and economic obligations, he felt that it is the tax base that should be broadened to capture the untaxed.
“Genuine and diligent corporate taxpayers should not be overburdened, as this could be counterproductive and the envisioned revenue increase may not be achieved. “