The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has asked the Federal Government to initiate and execute deliberate policy with incentives to make the real sector in the country more viable than trading.
The Chairman of MAN, Apapa Branch, Frank Onyebu, who made the call in Lagos recently, told the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN), that entrepreneurs would only invest in an economy where they are sure of getting maximum returns on investment in the short-term.
“If enough incentives are provided, investors will come in droves to exploit the opportunities provided, the government should also make business environment friendly enough to attract more foreign investors into the sector.” Onyebu said.
The MAN Chairman noted with regret that agriculture, which is a cash-cow with ample opportunities for the country, has remained dormant and exploited over the years.
In his words; “It’s upsetting when you travel along our highways and find stretches upon stretches of fallow lands which could easily be turned into farmlands. It’s even more upsetting when you realise that the individuals who should be plugging these lands are wasting in our cities looking for non-existent white-collar jobs.”
“The government has to provide incentives to our youths to get involved in farming by providing basic amenities in the villages, providing subsidized farming implements, including machinery, fertilizer, etc. Industries will ultimately spring up in these villages to take advantage of available outputs from these farms, “He pointed out.
President of MAN, Mansur Ahmed
On Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the Apapa MAN Boss advised government to work on improving the Ease of Doing Business in the country by completely eliminating corruption, simplifying the registration process, facilitating easy access to information and promoting efficiency as a culture.
On the state of insecurity in the country, Onyebu said conscious measures must be taken to improve the situation, insisting that most investors would think twice about investing in a country with seemingly insurmountable security challenges.
“MAN plays the twin role of advising the government and advocating the cause of the manufacturers. The opening of the land borders is a welcome development. The borders should never have been closed in the first place if government officials who should have been policing them were doing their jobs. Customs, immigration and other security operatives should be held accountable if they are not doing their job.” He added.