The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government not to throw the nation’s market open to all manner of goods through a blanket economic agreement with the European Union.
MAN stated this in a communiqué issued at the end of its 10th Annual General Meeting held on Friday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital where it warned that rushing to seal the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU could lead to a total collapse of existing industries in the country.
The communique was signed by the Chairman of MAN in the state, Mr. Iniobong Jackson, and the Executive Secretary, Mr. Arikpo Arikpo.
“There is a need for caution in signing the Economic Partnership Agreement, particularly agreements seeking total market access by the European Union. This is necessary in order not to collapse existing industries in Nigeria,” it said.
MAN also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to loosen its tight grip on the monetary policy and allow manufacturers to have access to finance at single digit interest.
It stressed the need for a robust synergy of ideas between the government and the organised private sector, and supported the practice of public-private partnership in policy formulation and implementation.
MAN noted that with Nigerians’ penchant for buying foreign made goods and the low patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods, manufacturers might not be able to create jobs for the teeming youth who were resorting to crimes.
“There is the need for the Federal Government to set up monitoring mechanism to ensure that its Ministries, Departments and Agencies patronise made-in-Nigeria goods,” it added.
The association also lamented the inadequate provision of basic infrastructure that could support manufacturing.
It listed the inadequate supply of power as having a negative effect on industries and productivity, adding that there was the need for the government to provide constant electricity to industries.
“There is a need for state governments to give palliative measures to federal roads in their states and ask for refunds in order to ease manufacturers’ difficulties in moving products to consumers,” it added.