The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged the Federal Government to formulate policy aimed at promoting production and patronage of Nigeria locally made goods and services.
Its President, Mr Mansur Ahmed, made the plea on Monday at the opening ceremony of the association’s ‘Made in Nigeria Products Exhibition- MANExpo2019’ in Lagos.
Ahmed said that dearth of raw materials and policy misalignment were some of the major factors which had pushed the manufacturing industry into comatose.
He also listed lack of legal and regulatory framework, epileptic power supply, poor infrastructure, policy inconsistency and lack of skilled manpower as other challenges hindering growth of the industry.
Ahmed stressed the need for government to revive and create long-term sustainable policies that would boost the manufacturing industry and encourage patronage of Nigerian products.
“There is no economy that can grow without a vibrant manufacturing industry.
“The more we consume Nigeria locally-made products, the more the industry expands, the more employment opportunities are created and the more the economy grows,” he said.
The Director-General of MAN, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, urged the government to focus on addressing challenges that hindered operation of business activities with Nigeria and other countries.
Ajayi-Kadir said proffering solutions to the challenges were necessary to ensure steady availability of food in the country, saying that food was a very important sector with one of the highest investments in the manufacturing sector.
According to him, the government should be more proactive to provide security and regulate activities at the Nigeria borders for free importation and exportation of legal goods by manufacturers.
He said the manufacturing industry in any economy was one of the catalysts needed for the developmental indices of such nation to be impactful and be able to feed its citizens.
“They will in turn build production, investment, employment and infrastructure needs of the country.
“Development of the manufacturing sector has been one of the essential ingredients in the growth strategy of a country.
“As a result, there is need for strict vigilance, monitoring and proactive enforcement of laws on goods safety and best international manufacturing practices by regulatory agencies.
“There is also need for identification of major outlets for distribution of contraband products by regulatory agencies, while such outlets will be sealed and trade of legal products is encouraged,” he said.
The Guest of Honour at the programme, Dr Hassan Adamu, urged the Federal Government to act in line with Executive Order 003, which specifically mandated Ministries, Departments and Agencies to give first purchase to Nigeria-made goods.
According to him, there is no reason why the lawmakers should not patronise and use local products, saying that governments being the greatest spender should lead by example.
Commending efforts of the government in the areas of providing enablers and other measures at boosting industrial growth and development, Adamu urged Local, State and Federal Governments to embrace locally made goods and services.