MAN Urges Nigerians to Patronise Local Goods
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged Nigerians to patronise local goods for the economy to grow, create jobs and increase contribution to government revenue.
MAN emphasised that the manufacturing sector must be supported to scale production through increased capacity utilisation and adequate patronage,
Accordingly, MAN called on the Federal Government, through the Presidential Committee on the Monitoring of the Implementation of Executive Order 005, which seeks to grow domestic production through the patronage of local produced goods, to rise to the occasion and ensure strict compliance with the order.
MAN also said contrary to misconceptions in certain quarters, Nigerian companies were neither shutting down nor relocating from the country, adding that new companies were thronging into the country while more indigenous ones were springing up.
Speaking at the opening of the three-day Made-in-Nigeria Exhibition, which was part of activities for MAN’s 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM), its President, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, said Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that fail to comply with the Executive Order should be sanctioned.
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He recalled that MAN had in the past four years organised the exhibition in furtherance of its patronage of Made-in-Nigeria campaign, noting that the Executive Order 003 and 005 exemplified the Federal Government’s commitment to grow domestic production through the patronage of locally produced goods.
“It is in this regard that the Presidential Committee on the monitoring of the implementation order 005 should be called to action,” Mansur said, adding that “the Committee chaired by the President and anchored by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology should be mandated to ensure strict compliance with the order.”
Mansur, while noting that President Muhamadu Buhari has consistently maintained that Nigerians should consume what they produce and produce what they consume, said the three-day exhibition was, therefore, a demonstration of the Nigerian manufacturing sector’s capacity to produce what they consume.
The MAN president, however, said what is left is for the government and Nigerians to consume what manufacturers produce. According to him, this is one sure way to grow the economy, create jobs and increase contribution to government revenue.
He, therefore, reiterated that “the manufacturing sector must be supported to scale production through increased capacity utilization and adequate patronage.”
Mansur, however, assured that MAN and the sector, on their part, will rise to the occasion and ensure that it builds on the existing capacities and continues to improve on the quality and competitiveness of locally produced goods.
He also urged members of MAN to take advantage of the opportunities created by the policies of the current administration and the emerging continental market to expand their investment, improve their manufacturing operations and the standard of their products.
According to him, “this will guarantee our competitiveness and market penetration in Africa and beyond.”
The highpoint of the event was the declaration of the exhibition open by the former president of MAN, Ambassador Hassan Adamu (Wakili of Adamawa), and a guided tour of the exhibition arena by dignitaries to see the extent to which the manufacturing sector can meet the desire of Nigerians for a self-reliant economy.
“Indeed, given the size of the Nigerian market, achieving self-reliance will not only strengthen and deepen our economy, it will position us to play a dominant role in continental market,” Mansur said.
Ahmed said the committee chaired by President Buhari and anchored by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology should be mandated to ensure strict compliance with the order.
According to him, ministries, departments and agencies of government that fail to comply with the Executive Order should be sanctioned accordingly.
“Government must do everything it can to ensure that companies operating in this environment remain competitive.
“Policy environment is the first determinant of successful economy and we need these policies that have been created for manufacturing to be sustained.
“There must be no more policy summersaults. Policies on taxation and on the financial services sector that would make credit more affordable and accessible are what the manufacturing sector requires.
“In order to grow the economy, create jobs and increase contributions to government revenue, the manufacturing sector must be supported to scale production through increased capacity utilisation and adequate patronage.
“We also call for the end to petroleum subsidy and the funds redirected to the real sector that produces and exports to generate more foreign exchange for the country,’’ he said.
The MAN president assured manufacturers of the association’s commitment to building on existing capacities and improving on the quality and competitiveness of products.
In his remarks, former President of MAN, Amb. Hassan Adamu (Wakili Adamawa) called for the support of the political class to shore up Nigeria’s manufacturing capacity and the actualisation of the country’s industrialisation agenda.
“Special focus must be on formulating and implementing policies to drive the manufacturing sector.
“Challenges such as multiplicity of taxes amongst others must also be duly addressed by the political class to drive economic growth and development,’’ he said.
Director-General, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, described the increasing penetration level of made-in-Nigeria goods as commendable.
He attributed the development to their standards, safety and good quality assurance by regulatory agencies and manufacturers’ resilience in spite of the inclement operating environment.
Ajayi-Kadir added that the association had also embarked on several awareness and sensitisation exercises to draw the minds of Nigerians and other citizens to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods.
He noted that the government as the biggest spender, as seen in budgets must ensure that MDAs patronised made-in-Nigeria goods and services to give the manufacturing sector the patronage it deserves.
“The monitoring process in the implementation of Executive Order 005 must be sharpened so that any tier of government that does not comply is held accountable.
Ajayi-Kadir added that government must continue to demonstrate leadership by patronising made-in-Nigeria products”.