President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Mansur Ahmed in an interview with CNBC Africa, stated the association’s expectations from the Buhari administration for the manufacturing sector.
Priorities for the government
The MAN President believes the government should sustain efforts on improving infrastructure.
I believe the key priority has to remain on infrastructure. Power transport infrastructure. Telecommunications sector. Other infrastructure that impede or assist the competitiveness of the sector.
Our economy can not grow so long as our manufacturing sector remains small and disintegrated. So long as we cannot compete with other products coming outside of the country. Particularly when we are talking about opening up the borders and creating a continent-wide a free trade area.
It is absolutely important that our capacity to compete especially in terms of manufacturing most be taken to the highest level possible. That is why we are concerned, the progress that has been made must be sustained and indeed accelerated.
A solution to Apapa
We want to see a lot more work done in the ports sector. The current bottleneck at the Apapa port must be removed as quickly as possible.
The MAN President advocated for more work to be done in the power sector.
There is a lot of work that has to continue to be made in the power sector. There are a lot of projects at all levels: generation, transmission, and distribution. Efforts must be made to get the power sector right. We understand that this will take some time, but there are some quick wins that can be brought into the sector.
Ahmed also stated that an increase in taxes would be ill-advised
I believe it is premature. I think if we continue to focus on widening the tax net, we should continue to see a massive increase. I believe that given the current growth rate in the manufacturing sector, and the capacity utilization we are seeing, which is below 60%, it is important not to increase the cost to the manufacturing sector.