Manufacturers urge FG to channel palliatives to subsidise local productions

Manufacturers in Nigeria have asked the Federal Government to subside the production industry as a way of addressing the adverse effects of the rising costs of production.

The manufacturers believe that rather than taking the available resources and giving it out just as a one off palliative and the people become poorer afterwards, the Government could rechannel it as incentives for local producers to encourage local productions and boost the economic fortune of the country.

They made this call at the stakeholders engagement forum, organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), in Anambra State, weekend, where they also discussed how small businesses can access funds for growth.

With the theme, ‘Access to Finance and Cheaper Funding for SMEs in Nigeria’, the Forum identified lack of access to finance, poor infrastructure, insecurity, high taxation, policy inconsistencies and others, as some of the major challenges affecting businesses in Nigeria.

In her opening remarks, the Chairman of MAN in Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi zone, Lady Ada Chukwudozie, said it was better to give incentives to manufacturers, stressing that “when they produce more, they create wealth, jobs and the economy will now boost; they will have enough finished products for exports; that way, inflation will crash and naira will begin to appreciate against the dollar.”

She said, “the current ways of trading via heavy importation of finished goods and exportation of commodities has expired.

“We should embrace industrialization and export finished products while importing more of raw materials.

“Our very successful traders should be encouraged to partner with their suppliers overseas as their local content drivers and manufacture products in the region.

“Our subsidizing consumption should be discouraged and instead, provide subsidies for production.

“Government should also provide investment incentives, such as land, tax breaks, grants, or subsidies to manufacturers who invest in upgrading their machinery, technology, and processes to boost productivity and competitiveness.

“Currently, the trajectory of the discussions are on productivity, about industrialization, about the need to make the economy a productive economy than a consumption-based economy, how to transform the economy from one which exports commodities and imports finished goods, to one which exports finished goods and imports raw materials.”

Chukwudozie also stressed on opening more opportunities for Manufacturers to have access to funding, saying, “access to information and access to cheap funding remains the nucleus and at the center of productivity and industrialization in Nigeria”.

On his part, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr. Charles Odii said the agency had started some interventions at ensuring that local manufacturers had access to soft loans.

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