FG tasks manufacturers on product standards …as MAN inaugurates Large Corporation Group

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(Last Updated On: 2016-05-31)

By Abolaji Adebayo

Federal Government has urged the manufacturers to put in more efforts at raising the competitiveness of made-in-Nigeria products in the global market, saying the government was not insensitive to their plight in terms of infrastructure, foreign exchange, power as well as multiple taxation.
Speaking at the inauguration of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Large Corporation Group, the Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, disclosed that the sector has been declining in its capacity as a result of the challenges militating against its potential.

However, she assured that the government had been putting in place appropriate policies, programmes and projects aimed at strategically and effectively tackling some of the age long myriad of challenges confronting the sector.
According to her, the government felt the implication of the current foreign exchange policy on manufacturers in the country particularly those that have ran out of stock of critical raw materials, assuring them that the policy would soon be amended.
The Minister also hinted that the government has created and is still creating enabling business environments to fix and fill in the gap created by industrial challenges, adding that the interest of the present administration was to have a visible and vibrant manufacturing sector that would be adequately empowered to produce goods for local consumption and for export.

Speaking on the inaugurated Large Corporation Group, Abubakar said she was confident of the Association and the Group’s ability to develop strategies for enhanced productivity.
She said, “I understand that this group will be an avenue to review, appraise government policies, programmes and activities to develop strategies for enhanced productivity. I commend the initiatives of MAN leadership for their choice of 50 big manufacturing companies in Nigeria coming together and also keying into the vision of the Ministry our objective of diversifying the economy.

This inauguration is the third main activity of MAN this year. You have earlier inaugurated the SME Group and the MAN Export Group. This is apt as I believe that smaller groups can provide more focus, will be easier to coordinate and make more impact for the economy. This platform, should therefore serve as a veritable medium not only for sensitization, cross fertilization of ideas and dissemination of information but also interactive means for critical evaluation and assessing the level of acceptance of policies and programmes of the government. It will equally afford the opportunity for us to harmonize and jointly agree on the way forward, which will make the Nigerian manufacturers to remain competitive globally.”

Meanwhile, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, urged the Federal Government to help the manufacturers by reversing the forex policy in their favour and also find a way of making electricity available for them as the association called for diversification of power energy to other sources such as solar and other renewable energy.
However, Jacobs charged the newly inauguration Large Corporation Group to promote the usage of local raw materials in the manufacturing sector through active collaboration with the Raw Material Research and Development Council and other research institutions and also support the backward integration programme of government.”

He also tasked the Group to create a platform for the harmonization and projection of issues that are perculiar and imperative for the profitable operation of large-scale industries.
He added that the association would increase its commitment towards promoting made-in-Nigeria products within and outside the country through the newly inaugurated group.
He further declared that the Group should facilitate effective linkage between small/medium scale industries and large scale industries in the production and supply value chain.
“Today marks the beginning of a new dawn in the annals of the history of our great association. MAN is a well-structured organisation, with different organs, performing specialised functions but operating in a well-coordinated and harmonized way. It is expected that this principle would guide the operations of the Large Corporation Group,” he said.
The Large Corporation Group is a cluster of multinational and local bigger companies in Nigeria saddled with the responsibility of recommending policies that would lead to a conducive economic and social climate for the operation and development for large scale industries in Nigeria.

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