It is a known fact that countries including Nigeria are experiencing the adverse effect of this year was hit by the onslaught of the COVID 19 pandemic which is have negatively impacting and affected the world economy and the way we do things.
From all indication of the global pandemic’s accounts which is clear that Nigeria was not immune to this challenging time as the world economic and manufacturing also experienced inconsistency in production growth indicating an overall economic slowdown, which resulted in job losses, decline in consumer demand and a general deterioration in living standard.
The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigerian, Engr Mansur Ahmed said ‘This pandemic disrupted the global supply chain, caused a massive slowdown in the international trade and in our case worsened the already fragile economy.
He note that the Nigeria economic outlook for the first quarter 2020 found maximum expression in the actual performance of economic indicators, as economic activity in the year was disrupted by the spiral effects of the pandemic ‘outbreak of COVID-19’.
MAN President during the Press Conference organized as part of activities of the 48th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria pointed out that since the outbreak of COVID-19’ in the country, the performance of the economy so far in 2020 has been fragile and slowly sliding into second recession as the case is globally.
“The impact of COVID-19 has also affected the global price of crude oil to crashed leaving the country with no choice than to review downward its expenditure plan for the year.
“In the same vein, inflationary pressure remains a source of concern as COVID-19 disrupted the demand and supply side of the global economy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for economies across the globe as the demand and supply side of economies were badly hit; The period under review also recorded an unprecedented distortion in the value chain as countries directly or indirectly shut their borders and imposed export restrictions on critical raw materials while some imposed products through outright ban on food, pharmaceuticals and other essentials.
“Arisingnalys is Judging from the scenario is point of view trajectory, the expectation is that inflation, interest and exchange rates will jointly trend upward from their current states in differing magnitude of between 15% and 18% and the rate of unemployment will double, reaching the 50% mark for the first time in our history.
He said to cushion the effect; Government introduced a number of impressive initiatives in form of economic policies, schemes and projects aimed at encouraging businesses and consolidating prior achievements.
“Among such commendable government initiatives in the year are specific stimulus packages such as N50 Billion facility for SMEs and Households, N100 Billion for Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, and N1Trillion for Manufacturing and Agricultural sectors among others.
Engr Ahmed said this moved is expected to boost the performance of the manufacturing sector so as to overcome the current challenge and for companies to sustain their operations production instead of experiencing further decline in production.
“Suffice it to point out that MAN CEO Confidence Index (MCCI) fell significantly to 44.4 points in the first quarter of 2020 as against 51.9 points recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019; thus, affirming the negative impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic on the confidence of manufacturers in the period
For the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the above outcomes and lockdown, near shut down of the operations of 8 manufacturing sectoral groups, disruption in supply chain, inventory and inventory of unsold items and loss of jobs, he added.
“The consequence of this development was that sectoral groups under MAN ran short of supplies of raw materials due to disruptions in the global value chain and many still cannot access forex.
“The manufacturing sector performance that was expected to be strong having recorded an impressive performance in the 4th quarter of 2019 on account of border closure suffered a huge setback.
In his words: MAN remains resolute to continuously support its members in their pursuit to explore business expansion opportunities to navigate the current challenging times confronting the industry due to Covid-19.
According to him, through strategic partnerships, the Association has embarked on a number of engagements that will lead to usher in immediate relief respite and long- term success to Nigeria’s manufacturing ecosystem in the areas of intra-trade facilitation, renewable energy, local and local raw material sourcing amongst others.
MAN Boss appreciated members of its Association for their support to government when it was most needed to provide palliative as a way to cushion hardship experienced by Nigerians and to contain the spread of Covid-19.
According to him, by record, manufacturers have donated about N8 billion in cash and N300 million naira worth of palliative materials to both Federal and States Governments. While commends frontline health workers and other service providers for their commitments, sacrifice and service to humanity.
He concluded saying MAN is looking forward to the release of implementation guidelines for some of the stimulus packages to spell out the conditions/transmission mechanism for their implementation and ensure transparency, the Association will urgently needs to engage the CBN to provide vital information on how banks will be supported to guarantee business continuity and expansion.