Brand Owners Proffer Solutions To Low Productivity, Poverty In Nigeria
Brand Owners under the auspices of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have pointed out that low productivity and continuous rise in poverty level in the country are the biggest challenges facing brand Nigeria.
The association made this known at a Public Relations function held recently, where It reeled out solutions such as Upscale electricity generation; Investment in ports infrastructure; Incentivize investment in the local development of raw materials, and create industrial clusters/incubation centers for start-ups; Strengthen the health sector; promotion of vocational training; among others.
The Director General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir at the 9th Lagos Public Relations Stakeholders Conference held recently explained that despite the Global indicators and national statistics that have indisputably placed Nigeria within the poverty bracket, industrialization is the way out.
“Global experience shows that industrialization is the leeway out of poverty. Industrialization leads to diversified large-scale production for domestic and industrial consumption as well as export which catalyzes economic growth and per capita income. Of course, there are shreds of evidence that per capita income is very high in an industrialized nation, which strongly reflects their well-being.
“Regrettably, industrialization in Nigeria which is still an aspiration has been difficult to achieve due to various daunting challenges including infrastructure gap. No doubt, sound support infrastructure is sine-qua-non for industrialization. Without adequate electricity supply to the industries, sound rail and road networks to move commodities, functional ports equipment for swift clearance of raw materials and machines, including other non-infrastructure requisites such as liberal funds and forex, autonomous investments that will provide the big push, etc, the industrialization aspiration of the country may become a mirage.”
Reeling out some of the solutions recommended by the association, Ajayi-Kadir said “Upscale electricity generation to 10000MW, support significant development of energy mix and review the gas price for domestic consumption to be in tandem with the export price which is about $3.25 per cubic metre;
“Invest significantly in port infrastructure including scanners to improve the time taken to clear machines and raw materials while making the link road accessible.
“Publish the list of approved harmonized taxes and levies for the manufacturing sector by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) to address the issues of multiples taxes and levies;
“Incentivize investment in the local development of raw materials and create industrial clusters/incubation centers for start-ups;
“Support entrepreneurship development through appropriate funding and training on the right suite of skills;
“Strengthen the health sector by increasing the budgetary allocation to the sector to improve human contribution to national development.
Other recommendations are: “Encourage and promote vocational training in the secondary and tertiary institutions on electrical, electronics, mechatronics, plumbing, tiling, mechanic, building, welding, etc
“Resuscitate and strengthen existing Government research institutions that are relevant to industrialization, such as Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan; Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan; National Centre for Energy Research and Development, Nsukka; National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria; Projects Development Institute (PRODA), Emene; etc.
“Develop sound IT and entertainment infrastructure support system to further create employment opportunities for Nigerians.
“Allow industrial policies in the country to gestate with proper monitoring and evaluation procedures.
“Give significant attention to protecting the industrial areas; the use of satellite transmission, CCTV camera, drones, and well-motivated security personnel to reduce the level of insecurity to the barest minimum.”