The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has warned against possible collapse of the industry in Nigeria, if the high cost of fuel and current energy crisis are not addressed by the Federal Government.
Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, Director-General, MAN, made this known in a statement obtained by EnergyDay on Wednesday.
According to him, the challenges of high fuel prices, scarcity and inadequate power supply in the country (as well as excessive regulations and taxation, and inadequate supply of foreign exchange for importation of raw materials) have reduced the number of industries in Nigeria and converted industrial hubs in most parts of the country to mere warehouses of imported goods and event centres.
He noted that the situation has lowered the country’s GDP even as many Nigerians have become jobless, indulging in crimes due to daily shutdown of operation by many manufacturers who could no longer bear the high cost of energy, particularly diesel which is mostly needed to power their facilities.
He said, “More worrisome is the deafening silence from the public sector as regards the plight of manufacturers.
“Four obvious questions that readily come to mind that are seriously begging for answers are, what can we do as a nation to strengthen our economic absorbers from external shocks?
“Should manufacturing companies that are already battered with multiple taxes, poor access to foreign exchange and now over 200% increase in price of diesel be advised to shut down operations?
“Should we fold our arms and allow the economy to slip into the valley of recession again? Is the nation well equipped to manage the resulting explosive inflation and unemployment rates?” He questioned.
The manufacturers called for a policy that would urgently allow companies and airlines to import diesel and aviation fuel respectively from the Republic of Niger and Chad, to ease the current hardship.
MAN also requested for the development of a National Response and Sustainability Strategy to address challenges emanating from the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia in order to remain in business.
The Association therefore asked the Federal Government to offer consistent support to the manufacturing sector, as a measure to accelerate the process of recovery from the aftermath of COVID-19 and previous bouts of recession to avert the complete shutdown of factories nationwide with multiplier effects on employment and the economy.