Lagos, Oct. 4, 2023 : Prof. Adeolu Adewuyi, says further development of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector is crucial to driving the production of value-added products and engendering the country’s competitiveness under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Adewuyi, Professor of Economics, University of Ibadan, said this at the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group(MANEG) 6th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event’s theme is :” Manufactured Products’ Competitiveness under the AfCFTA amidst Increasing High Cost of Production in Nigeria”.
He noted that no nation could attain a higher standard of living without considerably improving its manufacturing sector, while it propels economic growth and structural transformation.
He said an assessment of the performance of manufacturing sector showed the need for improvement to gain more shares than other countries in the African market.
Adewuyi said if Nigeria must benefit maximally from AfCFTA, policy makers and manufacturers must maintain price stability through stable exchange rate.
He said the country must encourage more oil production and export to boost inflow of foreign exchange and remove the leakages.
“Additionally, we must encourage massive inflow of foreign investment via good business environment and encourage production of raw materials, by boosting agricultural activities and research and development.
“There’s also the need to promote consumption of locally made goods to reduce import demand pressure in the foreign exchange market that leads to exchange rate depreciation,” he said.
The economist advocated the reengineering of specialised banks to provide finance for manufacturing at more affordable costs.
He added that there must be increased resource efficiency, access to electricity at affordable cost, intensification of renewable energy production and use, and more environmental friendly output and export.
In her remarks, Mrs Odiri Erewa- Meggison, Chairman, MANEG, said that since the COVID-19 pandemic, exporters struggled with reduced international demand coupled with domestic economic challenges.
Erewa-Meggison said the challenges included high and increasing exchange rates, high cost of energy, multiple levies and taxes.
Others are port congestion, unending insecurity, infrastructural deficiencies and smuggling, causing untold constraints to manufacturing operations.
She appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider the 34 deserving exporters that were stepped down by the 9th Assembly from participating in the Promissory Notes programmes.
“On the macroeconomic environment of the non-oil export business, I want to thank the Federal Executive Council for the approval of the 2017- 2020 EEG claims, which also include some of the 38 exporters that were exonerated by the 8th National Assembly.
“I also want to thank government for the efforts made so far to pay the backlog of EEG claims through the promissory note programme,” she said.