MAN TASKS GOVT, ECOWAS ON APPROPRIATE POLICY REGIME FOR INDUSTRIAL GROWTH

By NBF News
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FOR the upteenth time, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Ogun State branch, has called for the enthronement of a new industrial policy regime that would facilitate the growth of the nation's real sector.

Besides, the manufacturers want the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to coordinate and implement its protocols, to advance the fortunes of industrial outfits within the sub-region.

The Chairman of the association's Ogun State branch, Dr. Dolapo Ogutuga, said the current realities on the ground have shown that there was need for government to review the implementation of the country's industrial policies, to open up investment opportunities in the manufacturing sector.

Ogutuga, who spoke at the association's business luncheon, at Sango-Otta, Ogun State, on Wednesday, said ECOWAS should look into the region's industrial policies, which to him, were not well coordinated and implemented.

He said it was imperative for government and ECOWAS to formulate policies that would encourage, promote and fast track trade facilitation in Nigeria and the Sub- Sahara region.

The state's MAN boss, however, lamented the continued high cost of doing business in the country, adding that government still needed to pay greater attention to ways of solving inherent problems facing the country's manufacturing sector.

The major constraints in doing business in the country, according to him, include inability to access bank credits due to high lending rates and lack of long term credit facilities; lack of infrastructure- energy, transportation, ports management; policy summersaults; multiple taxation and its mode of collection; insecurity of lives and property; and, harassment of manufacturers by hoodlums.

Besides, he said the investment climate in the country was still being faced with acute infrastructural challenge.

Thus, he canvassed for the need to establish Public-Private Sector Partnership between manufacturers and the state governments, adding that 'the imperative of acquainting key government officials with the plight of manufacturers for better understanding of their constraints and fashioning ways of instigating them and creating the much needed business friendly environment.'

He added: 'The investment climate in Ogun State and indeed Nigeria, as a whole, is characterised by acute infrastructural deficiency, as well as, high cost of funds. These attributes, no doubt, cannot bring development, because of their tendency to propel high cost environment, which usually leads to uncompetitiveness, as beingwitnessed in the manufacturing sector today.'

While speaking on the theme: 'Finance: Catalyst For Promotion And Sustaining The Manufacturing Sector,' the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank Plc, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, said the theme of the event was timely, considering the on-going reforms in the financial services sector, especially the push by operators and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to significantly increase the contribution of banks to the productive sector of the economy.

Durosinmi-Etti, who was the guest speaker at the occasion, explained that the CBN, in conjunction with the financial services sector, decided to provide the real sector with various platforms, especially in the area of funding infrastructural projects and manufacturing was key to the country's economic growth.

'Although, regulators and operators agreed on a number of practical solutions in the funding area, it was obvious that the support of the Federal Government in certain critical areas such as infrastucture, power and favourable fiscal policies are critical to attain meaningful progress,' he said.