Wednesday, October 16, 2019 / 06:09 PM / Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: Proshare WebTV
On the sidelines of the 25th Nigeria economic summit, Proshare WebTV discussed with the President of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria , MAN, Engineer Mansur Ahmed on the prospects of repositioning the sector for global competition by 2050.
Ahmed believed that to transform the Nigerian economy, industrialization must be a top priority.
He noted that Industrialization efforts should be driven by the private sector, while the government's role should be to provide an enabling environment in terms of policies, regulations, and also the soft and hard infrastructure that is required for manufacturing to thrive.
The MAN President called on the government to create room for the private sector to invest and also to incentivize them through strategic investment policies.
"No economy thrives and rises to become a giant without establishing a robust manufacturing sector, that produces goods and services that create jobs and support investments that enable people earn a living" Ahmed said.
He stressed the fact that public-private partnerships were critical for a vibrant manufacturing sector to emerge in the country.
Ahmed emphasized the need for government to be clear in its investment plans and the need for innovation in the strategy and approach to manufacturing.
He made a case for increased infrastructure investments, which would stimulate economic activities and manufacturing output.
In this regard he identified the Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises, SMEs , as vital players in unlocking business opportunities and provide formal and sustainable youth employment.
He alluded to the need to adopt a national strategy that identifies key areas of comparative advantage and focus on these areas to drive value.
On the FX restrictions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on 43 items, the MAN President believed that critical monetary policies need wider consultation with key stakeholders, to ensure that policies are seen as enablers, not inhibitors of growth.
Ahmed cautioned against knee-jerk reactions of government and regulators, in respect of policies that affect the manufacturering industry.
The MAN President called for an incentive-based policy approach to manufacturing, which could open up new economic corridors.
He called for broader engagements and continuous interaction between policy makers and stakeholders.
Reviewing the recent decision by the President to close land borders, Ahmed said the policy would affect manufacturing activities, especially those who import raw materials.
Following the recent signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCTA, MAN's boss stated that the role of the National Action Committee set up by the President would be in implementing the mandate of promoting and ensuring speedy operation of the Agreement.
For the financial services revolution, Ahmed said it was important to provide a conducive environment for the financing of manufacturing activities in the country.