Why Nigerian Products Are Not Competitive

A cocktail of unsavoury factors has continued to assail the nation’s manufacturers, making their products to remain relatively uncompetitive in the global market, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has stated.

MAN listed the challenges to include inadequacy of physical and socio-economic infrastructure; shortage of skilled power; multiple taxes; and trade malpractices like smuggling and fake or counterfeit products.

The Director-General of MAN, Remi Ogunmefun explained that the setbacks, resulting from the challenges in the manufacturing sector, have impeded the competitiveness of Nigerian products and rendered such outputs unattractive in the global market.

Ogunmefun, also pointed out that high cost of funds, insecurity, difficulty in utilising the negotiable duty credit certificate by non –oil exporters under the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme and overlapping functions of regulatory authorities in the regulation/certification of some products, continue to hamper the competitiveness of the sector.

He stressed that since the success of Nigerian economy depends largely on the success of the manufacturing sector of the country, massive investment should be made in infrastructure upgrade, in a bid to accelerate development in the sector, through public private partnerships.

He added that main arterial trade route in the country should also be repaired by the Federal Government in a bid to free up the logistics of human and material movements across the nation.

Ogunmefun noted that there is need for the government to explore the alternative of constructing concrete based roads, as they last longer, with less maintenance requirement.

He said that the Bank of Industry and other development finance institutions should be adequately capitalised in order to guarantee easy access to long term funds at low single-digit interest by the real sector, adding that provision of adequate and good electricity to the manufacturing sector cannot be over emphasised as MAN maintains its stand that the power sector should be re-visited to ease the current impediment to the growth of the sector.

Besides, he called for the resuscitating refineries and the full deregulation of the down stream sector of the petroleum industry, even as he stressed the need for the fast tracking of work on the harmonization of taxes and levies.

He however urged that Petroleum Industry Bill should be signed into law in a bid to encourage the development of the petroleum sector, to create petrochemical base raw-materials for use in the manufacturing sector.



Source: The Guardian Nigeria

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