Job creation: MAN commends FG over investment-friendly policies
Members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) have described as
unprecedented the institution and implementation of some economic policies
of the federal government which have helped in reviving the hitherto
moribund manufacturing sector of the economy.
They said that the commitment to the effective implementation of the
policies has led to phenomenal increase in the local production of
commodities which before now are imported into the country.
Citing the example of the national cement production, the manufacturers
ascribed the success to the investor friendly policies of the government
which encourage local production not only to meet domestic demands but
also for export.
The group under the auspices of the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria
(MAN) gave kudos to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan for
putting in place some broad based incentives generally geared towards
reviving the moribund manufacturing sector, encourage industrialization
and create jobs.
MAN in a statement signed by its President, Chief Kola Jamodu said that
government's incentive policy, which is designed to encourage
industrialization, has been effective as it has been encouraging new
investments and creating jobs and now benefitting the larger economy.
Jamodu also commended government for agreeing to the broad base incentives
for the manufacturing sector instead of narrowing them. He said, “an
important reform in the incentive policy, as sought by MAN, was to broad
base the incentives to a whole sector rather than issuing discretionary
waivers for individual firms. This has brought transparency in the policy
and created a level playing field for all players.
“There is a clear evidence of the positive impact of the sector based
incentives. Incentives and concessions given to the Cement industry have
contributed to the phenomenal increase in national cement production from
less than 2 MN tons in 2002 to over 20 MN tons in 2013. As a result, from
being a net importer, Nigeria has become a net exporter of cement. This
was achieved in less than a decade thanks to the enabling environment
fostered by government policies.”
According to him, the incentive policy has been in place through several
administrations but the President and his Economic Management Team deserve
credit for streamlining the policy to leverage it for attracting
investment in the priority sectors.
Chief Jamodu added that special intervention funds of the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) disbursed through the Bank of Industry (BOI) have also
helped revive a good number of ailing industries and SME's. Incentives are
also helping to boost trade and investment in the non-oil sector and
generating employment in agro-allied industries. Explaining how the
incentives are impacting positively on manufacturing and the economy, he
said, “Incentives are needed to generate investment in the productive
sector – manufacturing and agriculture. Waiver of customs duty and VAT on
import of plant and machinery is required to make our industries
competitive. Duty and VAT exemption on equipment used in gas production
has contributed to reduction in gas flaring and growth in gas-to-power
initiative aimed at boosting power supply.”
Meanwhile, the OPS leader decried the cost of doing business in Nigeria
which he said remains very high noting that due to the prevailing
infrastructural disincentives, companies have to generate own captive
power and build surrounding facilities.
Therefore, he pointed out that incentives and waivers are required not
only to attract investments but to also compensate for the public
infrastructure-deficit. “Most developing companies give incentives to
attract investment in priority sectors where they have a comparative
advantage and Nigeria cannot be an exception”, the MAN boss argued.
The MAN equally affirmed its support for the implementation of the
recently launched Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan and called on
well-meaning Nigerians to be prepared to make their positive contributions
to ensuring the success of the programme.