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THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM: UNACHUKWU FAULTS SUCCESSIVE GOVT POLICIES FOR DWINDLING FORTUNES OF MANUFACTURING SECTOR

By Anderson Hart
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In view of the seeming endless plunge witnessed in the Nigerian Manufacturing sector, their have been consensus among stakeholders that government is majorly responsible for dwindling fortunes of the sector following ineffective and less than oimpressive policies for the manufacturing sector.

President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, PHCCIMA Engr. Emeka Unachukwu, while presenting a paper recently seem to tow the same line attributing stunted growth in the manufacturing sector to successive government policies.

He said unhealthy government policies regarding the manufacturing sector are paving way for manufacturers and entrepreneurs to resort to buying and importing finished products into the country than engaging in manufacturing.

The PHCCIMA helmsman who made this assertion during an Entrepreneurial Forum programme put together by Airtel in conjunction with the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce and VTB Consulting, decried the harsh policies of government saying, “Our problem is on manufacturing because we have everything to be a strong manufacturing nation but we are not; basically because of government policy and another is poor infrastructure” he opined.

According to him, manufacturers and entrepreneurs are forced to 'private position' a situation where they provide electricity, water and everything on their own and noted that this will not make them competitive.

The Entrepreneurship Forum was attended by over 600 entrepreneurs, potential youth entrepreneurs from across the Niger Delta region. Unachukwu in his presentation maintained: “It is easy for you to import your products than to manufacture here”, he urged government to put some policies that would encourage manufacturing so that they will be competitive and have a strong base. Finally he called on the Nigerian youths to take up the challenge of freeing themselves from the shackle of unemployment by taking bold steps towards creating jobs for themselves and others through entrepreneurship.

Chief Executive Officer of Visible Impact, Fela Durotoye one of the guest speakers at the event said that Nigeria is blessed with all the mineral resources including human capital which can make it great but regretted that leadership has continued to pose a serious problem.

He lamented the heavy reliance on oil to the neglect of over 34 untapped mineral resources which the country is endowed with.

Continuing, Durotoye disclosed that African countries should emulate Singapore which has nothing but has become one of the financial hubs in the Asian continent.

Both Durotoye and Unachukwu, called on the Nigerian youths to take up the challenge of freeing themselves from the shackle of unemployment by taking bold steps towards creating jobs for themselves and others through entrepreneurship. Mrs. Seinye Lulu Briggs, MD/CEO of Racheal's Hotels also spoke at the occasion.

The Entrepreneurial Forum which was attended by over 600 entrepreneurs from across the Niger Delta region was put together by Airtel in conjunction with the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and VTB Consulting, an indigenous company specializing in human capital, outsourcing/recruitment services as well as business advisory support service. Was the aim of bringing together hundreds of entrepreneurial buffs to the garden city of Port Harcourt with a view to seeking new ideas, possibilities, vistas of opportunities and a new pathway for growth.