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Job creation: MAN commends FG over investment-friendly policies

Source: pointblanknews.com
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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.