Prof. Adeolu Adewuyi,a Professor of Economics, University of Ibadan, has called for the improvement of policies to further develop Nigeria’s manufacturing sector, saying no nation can attain a higher standard of living without considerably improving its manufacturing sector.
Adewuyi, who made the call at the 6th Annual General Meeting of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group(MANEG), on Wednesday in Lagos, said there must be increased resource efficiency, intensification of renewable energy production and use, and more environmentally friendly output and export.
According to him, Nigeria needs to embrace agriculture activities and research to attract foreign investment and promote locally made goods.
In his words:“Additionally, we must encourage massive inflow of foreign investment via a 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.
Speaking further, Adewuyi said the 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).
He therefore advocated the reengineering of specialised banks to provide finance for manufacturing at more affordable costs.
He noted that if Nigeria must benefit maximally from AfCFTA, policy makers and manufacturers must maintain price stability through a stable exchange rate.
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.
While praising the government, she also 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.