President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Mansur Ahmed Man has indicated that the recently released NBS report for the 4th quarter GDP showing that the country’s manufacturing sector recorded a meagre growth of 0.14 per cent or 1.24 per cent growth in the 4th quarter of the year 2019 shows the manufacturing industry can adversely affect the AFCFTA revenue.
This follows after a document from the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiation (NOTN) reveals AFCFTA will boost the Nigerian economic welfare by 0.62% ($2.9 Billion) triggered by driven by manufacturers and Small and Medium-scale Enterprise (SMEs).
Besides, the NOTN document also stated that the continental trade treaty has a potential of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to reach $25 trillion by 2050. The Nigerian market plays a significant role in bringing this to fruition. AfCFTA ratification is worth about $3 trillion in continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people in the African continent.
Based on these key indicators the MAN has called on the government to address lapses in the sector to guarantee improved performance and sustained growth. He shared his thoughts;
The statistical narrative of manufacturing growth as reported by NBS showed that the sector sustained positive but meagre growth of 0.14 per cent when you compare the reported 1.24 per cent growth in the 4th quarter of year 2019 with the 1.1 per cent recorded in the 3rd quarter of the same year. Manufacturing contribution to GDP rather remained stagnant at 8.74 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2019 as recorded in the 3rd quarter, a figure that is slightly below the 8.86 per cent recorded in the 4th quarter of 2018.
This development implies that the manufacturing sector is still struggling. This is not too good for an economy that will soon be exposed to the vagaries of the AfCFTA that will commence effectively July 2020. It also reemphasises the need for government to consciously continue to address the perennial issues hindering the optimum performance of real sector of the economy to guarantee improved performance and sustained growth,” the MAN president added.
(Delegates at the 5th Edition of Nigeria Manufacturing and Equipment Exhibition and 6th Edition of Nigeria Raw Materials Exposition #NIRAM held at Landmark Centre V.I Lagos)
What should the FG do to facilitate Economic growth?
Ahmed explained that the real sector must be encouraged and supported through the provision of basic infrastructure, especially electricity.
Allow manufacturers access to forex for importation of raw materials that are not available locally.
Improved patronage of made-in-Nigeria products and provision of production driven incentives Elimination of incidences of multiplicity taxes, levies/fees and provision of an environment friendly to manufacturing.