MAN President Calls for Targeted Policy Interventions to Bolster Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector Amid Economic Challenges

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The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Otunba Francis Meshioye, delivered opening remarks at the official presentation of the MAN CEO’s Confidence Index (MCCI) Report at MAN House, Ikeja, Lagos. The event, held on May 23, 2024, provided key insights into the current state and future prospects of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

In his address, Otunba Meshioye expressed gratitude to the media and stakeholders for their ongoing support since the inception of the MCCI in 2019. He emphasized the pivotal role of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria’s economic development, highlighting that the report serves as a crucial tool for understanding industry trends, challenges, and opportunities.

“The manufacturing sector is integral to the economic growth of our nation,” Meshioye stated. “This report not only highlights our current challenges but also points to the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Meshioye noted the recent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decisions by the Central Bank of Nigeria, acknowledging their efforts to address economic issues such as inflation and exchange rate fluctuations. However, he expressed concerns over the impact of these decisions on the manufacturing sector, particularly in light of recent economic challenges including foreign exchange volatility, rising energy costs, and food insecurity.

“While we understand the rationale behind the MPC’s decisions, it is crucial for them to assess the impact on the real sector and the broader economy,” Meshioye urged. “There is a need for collaboration with fiscal authorities to reinforce the manufacturing sector’s role in driving employment, productivity, and economic progress.”

Meshioye called for several targeted policy measures to support the manufacturing sector, including:

  • Implementing interventions to address cost-push inflation factors and alleviate financial burdens on manufacturers.
  • Prioritizing foreign exchange and credit allocation to manufacturers and accelerating the recapitalization of the banking sector.
  • Developing infrastructure within industrial hubs and investing in renewable energy to reduce logistical costs and enhance competitiveness.
  • Reducing reliance on imported products by incentivizing local sourcing and backward integration.

Following Meshioye’s remarks, MAN’s Director General, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, mni, further elaborated on the significance of the MCCI. He highlighted the MCCI as a critical tool for measuring the quarterly pulse of manufacturing CEOs in response to government policies and macroeconomic indicators.

Ajayi-Kadir noted a moderate improvement in the Aggregate Index Score (AIS) from 51.8 points to 53.5 points, indicating the sector’s resilience and gradual recovery. He attributed this performance to the strengthening of the Naira, anticipated reductions in diesel prices, and expectations of seamless disbursement of presidential intervention funds for the sector.

“Manufacturing remains the most sustainable driver of economic growth and foreign exchange inflow,” Ajayi-Kadir said. “We expect the government to prioritize the sector by implementing the recommendations in this report and providing the necessary policy support and incentives.”

The event concluded with a call to action for stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue and share insights on the report’s findings to foster the growth and resilience of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector.

The MAN CEO’s Confidence Index (MCCI) Report, first introduced in 2019, continues to serve as a vital instrument for advocacy and evidence-based policymaking, reflecting the industry’s performance and expectations amidst evolving economic conditions.

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