Posted by News Express | 21 January 2014 | 2,656 times
Members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) have described as unprecedented the institution and implementation of some economic policies of the federal government which have helped in reviving the hitherto moribund manufacturing sector of the economy.
They said that the commitment to the effective implementation of the policies has led to phenomenal increase in the local production of commodities which before now are imported into the country.
Citing the example of the national cement production, the manufacturers ascribed the success to the investor friendly policies of the government which encourage local production not only to meet domestic demands but also for export.
The group under the auspices of the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN) gave kudos to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan for putting in place broad-based incentives generally geared towards reviving the moribund manufacturing sector, encourage industrialisation and create jobs.
MAN in a statement issued in Lagos and signed by its President, Chief Kola Jamodu, said that government’s incentive policy, which is designed to encourage industrialisation, has been effective as it has been encouraging new investments and creating jobs and now benefitting the larger economy.
Jamodu also commended government for agreeing to the broad base incentives for the manufacturing sector instead of narrowing them. His words: “An important reform in the incentive policy, as sought by MAN, was to broad-base the incentives to a whole sector rather than issuing discretionary waivers for individual firms. This has brought transparency in the policy and created a level playing field for all players.
“There is a clear evidence of the positive impact of the sector based incentives. Incentives and concessions given to the cement industry have contributed to the phenomenal increase in national cement production from less than 2 MN tons in 2002 to over 20 MN tons in 2013. As a result, from being a net importer, Nigeria has become a net exporter of cement. This was achieved in less than a decade thanks to the enabling environment fostered by government policies.”
Jamodu noted that though the incentive policy has been in place through several administrations, President Jonathan and his Economic Management Team deserve credit for streamlining the policy to leverage it for attracting investment in the priority sectors.
He added that special intervention funds of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disbursed through the Bank of Industry (BOI) have also helped revive a good number of ailing industries and SMEs. Incentives are equally helping to boost trade and investment in the non-oil sector and generating employment in agro-allied industries, he said.
Explaining how the incentives are impacting positively on manufacturing and the economy, Jamodu said: “Incentives are needed to generate investment in the productive sector – manufacturing and agriculture. Waiver of customs duty and VAT on import of plant and machinery is required to make our industries competitive. Duty and VAT exemption on equipment used in gas production has contributed to reduction in gas flaring and growth in gas-to-power initiative aimed at boosting power supply.”
The OPS leader, however, decried the cost of doing business in Nigeria, which he said remains very high noting that due to the prevailing infrastructural disincentives, companies have to generate own captive power and build surrounding facilities.
He pointed out that incentives and waivers are required not only to attract investments but to also compensate for the public infrastructure-deficit. “Most developing companies give incentives to attract investment in priority sectors where they have a comparative advantage and Nigeria cannot be an exception,” the MAN boss argued.
Jamodu affirmed MAN’s support for the implementation of the recently launched Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan. He called on well-meaning Nigerians to be prepared to make their positive contributions to ensuring the success of the programme.
•Photo shows MAN President Kola Jamodu.
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