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Low Industrial Output: Manufacturers Seek Solutions To Forex, Energy Crisis

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged the Federal Government and monetary authorities to address the foreign exchange and energy crises responsible for the unfavourable movements in manufacturing indicators.
The MAN Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, made the call at the Commerce and Industry Correspondent Association of Nigeria (CICAN) workshop and recognition of individuals and firms in Lagos on Thursday.

Ajayi-Kadir said the frontline challenges of inadequate foreign exchange and energy crisis dipped the manufacturing growth output from 5.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 to 3.0 per cent in the second quarter.

He said these challenges massively affected manufacturers that were already confronted by inclement operating environment, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current Russian-Ukrainian war.

According to him, manufacturing indicators such as capacity utilisation, contribution to real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) investment, employment, cost of production, competitiveness among others were also negatively impacted.

He noted that increase in cost of energy pushed up global inflation which affected the cost of importation across the world, including Nigeria.

He added that with the limited foreign exchange inflow from crude oil sales, foreign exchange demand pushed over the bounds of supply and contributed to the depreciation in Naira value.

The MAN DG stressed that the challenges must be adequately addressed to arrest further degeneration in the performance of the sector.

“In doing that, we consider the following measure critical such as the allocation of significant proportion of available foreign exchange to the productive sector, particularly manufacturing.

“Further investment in the electricity value chain must be carried out and government must commit to adding 10,000 MW to the current electricity distributed in the country.

“Also, we must embrace and support significant development of renewable energy mix as the country has huge potentials for solar and wind,” he said.

Ajayi-Kadir added that the scope of road infrastructure should be expanded and the tax credit scheme developed and refurbished.

Africa’s foremost business mogul, Akiko Dangote, received the revolutionising manufacturing in Africa award, while the Group Chief, Branding and Communication Officer, Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, received the corporate communications expert of the decade award.

Other awardees included Dr Muda Yusuf, for championing private sector cause, Mrs Omotayo Okewunmi, Public Relations Officer, MAN, for most efficient image maker, and Ide John Udeagbala, National President, NACCIMA, for sustaining private sector advocacy.

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