The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is advocating a deliberate policy of the government through incentives, the real sector will become more viable than trading.
Engr Frank Onyebu, the Chairman of MAN, Apapa Branch, Lagos State, who disclosed this to Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN), explained that entrepreneurs would only invest in an economy where they are sure of getting maximum returns on investment in the short-term.
He said, “The real sector of the economy can be revived by a deliberate policy of government through incentives to make the sector more viable than trading. Entrepreneurs would usually invest in businesses where they can get the maximum returns within the shortest possible time. Therefore, if enough incentives are provided, investors will move in droves to exploit the opportunities provided. The government should also make business environment friendly enough to attract even foreign investors into the sector.”
He noted that agriculture is another sector that needs reviving and lamented that it is a shame that Nigerians have not exploited even 10 per cent of the opportunities in the agricultural sector.
His words, “It’s upsetting when you travel along our highways and find stretches upon stretches of fallow lands which could easily be turned into farmlands. It’s even more upsetting when you realise that the individuals who should be ploughing these lands are wasting in our cities looking for non-existent white-collar jobs.
“The government has to provide incentives to our youths to get involved in farming. The government can do this by providing basic amenities in the villages, providing subsidized farming implements, including machineries, fertilizer, etc. Industries will ultimately spring up in these villages to take advantage of available outputs from these farms,” Onyebu stressed.
On FDI, the MAN Boss stated that the government should work on drastically improving the Ease of Doing Business, saying that registration process should be simplified, efficiency should be instituted as a habit, and information should be easily available.
He maintained that there should also be consistency in government policies, harping that corruption should be completely eliminated. Commenting on security, he advised that conscious measures be put in place to improve the security situation in the country, insisting that most investors would think twice about investing in a country with seemingly insurmountable security challenges.
“MAN plays the twin role of advising the government and advocating the cause of manufacturers. The Association guides the government in the formulation of policies that advance the cause of manufacturers which ultimately helps the government through revenue generation, employment creation and economic growth.
The Association also provides training opportunities to members.
“The opening of the land borders is a welcome development. The borders should never have been closed in the first place if government officials who should have been policing them were doing their jobs. Customs, immigration and other security operatives should be held accountable if they are not doing their job. “It is a well-known fact that our borders are very porous. The thing about border closures is that legal activities cease but illegal activities continue. The government needs to find a way of properly securing our borders so that the need for future border closures will be eliminated. The need for a property secured border becomes even more important when the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement comes into place,” Onyebu stressed