The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to Federal Government to map out strategies that would assist its members to overcome effects of lockdown and movement restrictions caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
Its Director of Economics and Statistics, Dr Oluwasegun Osidipe, in Ogun State on Tuesday said the outbreak of COVID-19 has left the manufacturing in a battered state, wailing and struggling for breath to stay afloat.
Osidipe said that there was need for the Federal Government to craft strategies with sustainable stimulus so as to salvage the sector from the brink of total collapse.
“First, declare a state of emergency in the manufacturing sector to be acquainted with status of the sector,” the MAN director said.
He listed other challenges for seemingly and lacklustre performance of the sector to include: poor economics, infrastructure, difficult macroeconomics environment, over regulations of the sector, multiple taxes and levies.
The director said that these led to low contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), among others.
He called on the Federal Government to prevail on the apex bank to extend its COVID-19 stimulus packages to manufacturers not covered by the existing initiatives.
Osidipe also stressed the need for government to introduce fiscal measures by waiving import duties on active pharmaceutical ingredients, other raw materials required for essential products and food-related items for one year.
The MAN director further urged the Federal Government to prioritise forex allocation to the manufacturing sector for the importation of machines and raw materials that were not locally available.
He said that the Federal Government should establish a special bailout fund for the manufacturing sector.
According to him, this is with set deliverable on the number of jobs to be created, volume of export, the quantum of local raw materials utilised and projected revenue