President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) that his administration will eradicate bottlenecks and create an environment that can boost manufacturing. The President stated this at the 44th Annual General Meeting of MAN in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the need to boost manufacturing has become imperative in view of the fact that the “manufacturing sector is well positioned to be a major driver of Nigeria’s economic growth’’. He maintained that government was focused on implementing necessary policies and strategies aimed at unleashing the full potentials of manufacturing in Nigeria.
According to him, his administration will rely heavily on the association’s ideas and inputs at all stages of formulation and implementation of new industrial policies. “The manufacturing sector is well positioned to be a major driver of Nigeria’s economic growth because of our immense natural resources and the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians.
“Government is therefore focused on implementing necessary policies and strategies aimed at unleashing the full potentials of manufacturing in Nigeria. “We will rely heavily on your ideas and inputs at all stages of formulation and implementation of new industrial policies.
“For our part, we will remove bottlenecks and create a more business friendly environment. “Our strategic plan to boost manufacturing activities in the country is supported by the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprises Development Programme (NEDEP).
“These programmes, present a clear road map towards an industrialised Nigerian economy.’’ Buhari stated that his administration is convinced that the key to the nation’s economic diversification and subsequent survival lies in the agriculture and manufacturing sector.
He said that a strong manufacturing sector would create more jobs and wealth for the citizens, adding that it would usher in sustainable economic prosperity “because we will produce what we consume as a nation and generate foreign exchange by exporting any surplus’’.
The President said that his administration was working on improving the patronage of locally made goods, bridging the gap between skills required by industry and those provided by the educational institutions and access to finance for the Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
He added that the Federal Government recognised that MAN and other members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) were key stakeholders in the journey. He said, “we will continue our engagement with you.’’ The President stated that he was inspired by the association’s commitment to a great Nigeria.
He, therefore, urged them to join hands with government in making the ongoing efforts by government to revive the nation’s economy a success. He also urged them to ensure that the outcome of their deliberations would be to the benefit of all Nigerians, adding: “I look forward to receiving a Communiqué of the deliberations from this meeting.
“As events unfold in the coming months, many of you will be called upon to play critical roles in the implementation of this administration’s agenda. “I implore you to avail us your wealth of experience so that together we can uplift our nation’s economy and social well-being.’’
In his remarks, the President of MAN, Dr Frank Jacobs, commended the government for its new forex policy of allocating 60 percent of all available foreign exchange to the manufacturing sector for the importation of raw materials and machinery.
He also praised the Buhari-led administration for the efforts it is making towards improving infrastructure across the country. Jacobs also saluted the government’s efforts to end insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country. He said the efforts were yielding fruitful result.