President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Dr. Frank Jacobs has said that the improved performance of the manufacturing sector is as a result of the intensity of its advocacy, resilience and ingenuity to drive economic rebound.
Speaking in Lagos, Jacobs noted that the growth strategies released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) were initiated when the sector’s performance dipped to 2.85 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.The NBS put the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the manufacturing sector in the first quarter of 2018 at 3.39 per cent (year on year).
The figure is higher than that of the first quarter of 2017 which was 2.03 percent and the one for the last quarter of the same year which was 3.26 per cent. Jacobs noted that the growth strategies were initiated when the sector’s performance dipped to 2.85 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.
He said that the Federal Government also considered and implemented some of the association’s recommendations and offered the necessary stimulus required for survival.According to him, to sustain the positive growth trajectory as enunciated in the 2018 budget that has a growth target of 3.5 per cent, government needs to effectively synthesize monetary and fiscal policies.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, should further work together in developing policies that will move the non-oil sector forward.
“They should offer effective and beneficial stimulus to interest rate-sensitive sectors, to further propel growth as the economy is still largely static and fragile and urgently requires stimulus.“There should be a consultation with the Monetary Policy Committee to find ways and means of lowering interest rate to prevent the economy from being choked and the rate of recovery being slowed down,” he said.
Jacobs called for continued support for the resource-based industrialization programme, which involved the utilization of the country’s abundant natural resources in producing goods needed in the country.“This is a more sustainable and enduring form of industrialization, compared with the import-dependent industrialization which has been practiced in Nigeria for long.“It would also save the country a lot of foreign exchange currently used in importing raw materials and free funds for government development projects,” he added.
The association’s president called for a deepening of the ongoing backward integration efforts in the agricultural sector, to catalyze more industrial input supply from the sector.He canvassed the need to effectively implement the newly resuscitated Export Expansion Grant (EEG).
Jacobs said this entailed observing all the provisions in the new guideline, toward encouraging more production and export of manufactured goods, to boost forex earnings to the economy.He emphasized the need to continue to develop industry-support infrastructure, to fast-track the nation’s industrialization efforts.
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