Local manufacturers have expressed concern over the slow implementation of the budget, occasioned by rift between the executive and legislative arms of government, warning of an impending economic crisis that may arise from inertia in policy implementation.
This was as they charged the government to stimulate the economy through increased spending and by addressing lingering challenges in the sector.
President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs said the lingering rift between the two arms of government is affecting economic activities, thus generating worries over the state of growth in Nigeria’s economy that is already described as fragile.
Jacobs, who spoke ahead of the association’s annual meeting, said the scheduled 46th yearly general meeting and Manufacturers Annual lecture/Presidential Luncheon, requested experts and chief executives of manufacturing concerns in Nigeria to evaluate the performance of the manufacturing sector of the economy in the past one year.
He stated that the manufacturing sector in the past one year has witnessed mixed fortunes as well as slow-paced growth affirmed by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
Though the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for August stood at 57.1 index points, indicating further expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 17th consecutive month, the stakeholders urged for fiscal policy measures that check unintended consequences on cost of operations of businesses, adding that inventory in the real sector is on the rise.
There are worries that the inventory may rise further, considering the recursive nature of the delayed budget implementation cycle and prevailing economic condition in the country.
A breakdown of the data from MAN showed that unsold goods in the second half of 2017 was worth N161.53 billion, up from N35.42 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2016, as capacity utilisation averaged 57.13 per cent due to relative stability in the forex market.
The increasing number of unsold goods is a reflection of lower purchasing power of the consumers, and portends job losses and lesser private sector capacity to create jobs this year.
Jacobs noted that this year’s meeting will address two themes namely, “promoting manufacturing through improved port infrastructure and access to long-term credit windows; and “mainstreaming policies to catalyze industrial renaissance”.
To this end, he added that President Muhammadu Buhari, is expected to attend the event as the special guest of honour while President, Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will be the distinguished guest speaker.
“The Association also intends to use the occasion of the Annual General Meeting to present a vivid picture of the current realities of citing or operating a business concern, especially manufacturing in Nigeria, show case novel innovations and made-in-Nigeria products as well as collectively agree on workable survival strategies,” he added.