With the reality on ground, there is hardly any hope of Nigeria’s current economic recession recovering earlier than 2018; this is according to a finding by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
But, it stated that the situation could only change if government pays more attention towards restoring stability in the manufacturing sector, which has the key to revamping the dwindling economy.
The manufacturers, who painted the gloomy picture through their President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, on Wednesday, decried the present situation, which has seen to the inability of industries to source dollar for importation of raw materials, except they resort to the parallel market.
Jacobs said there was the need to introduce more policy initiatives that will have a better way for the economy to recover in 2017 otherwise the country would be worse for it.
“The only way out is for the government to take urgent steps to shore up the manufacturing sector, by ensuring that the concessionary forex allocation to the sector is effectively implemented to save the industries from exchanging a dollar for more than N400.
“Also very close to the forex challenge is the high interest rate, which should be pruned from the current 12 per cent to five per cent to enable many industries that are cash strapped to secure loan targeted at revamping their factories, “ Jacobs insisted.
He said a situation whereby manufacturers were compelled, by circumstances beyond them, to patronise parallel market for the needed forex requirements with a very high exchange rate, can only be the quickest way for more companies to shut down.
Other stakeholders called for the urgent need to empower consumers to be able to purchase products, which can only be possible if government will find solution to the rising inflation, which is affecting consumers’ purchasing power.
They equally frowned at the epileptic power supply and other dysfunctional basic infrastructure, which have been contributing to factories running at higher production costs than their foreign counterparts.
By Emma Eke….
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