In the view of perspectives of the Manufacturers Association Of Nigeria (MAN) on the 2019 Federal Government Budget statement released on December 31, 2018 disclosed that as a necessary part of the readiness assessment and the resulting action plan, Government should put in place the necessary framework to protect and boost the capacity of the manufacturing sector to thrive in the continental free trade area.
The document said that while recognizing and deeply appreciating Government’s efforts at carrying the private sector along on the issue of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), it is important for Government to pay adequate and unwavering attention to the emerging issues on AfCFTA in 2019 and onward, and ensure that Nigeria’s economic interests, especially the private sector, are not only projected, but protected in arriving at the decision to sign or not to sign or when to sign.
MAN noted that the huge emphasis on infrastructure development in the budget, especially power, road and rail is encouraging. However, as more development on the budget unfolds, it will be easier to understand why the budget fell short of 2018 figures, notwithstanding the improvements in the global and Nigerian economy.
As the budget stands, MAN opines that a lot of works still need to be done while hoping that it will be passed with dispatch. In broad terms, the manufacturing sector could be in for a tough operating environment in 2019, seeing that the needed supporting policies and infrastructure have not been given sufficient priority.
MAN is however hopeful that the capital expenditure component of the budget will be conscientiously implemented.