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Why FG must implement executive order on economy – MAN

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has opined that the implementation of Executive Order will help in stabilizing the economy.

The suggestion was made by MAN’s director-general, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, in a statement in Lagos.

He urged the government to use savings from fuel subsidy removal to deploy a bouquet of production-focused policies backed with more structural measures to combat inflationary pressures from insecurity, energy and transport costs, according to Peoples Gazette.

Ajayi-Kadir also called for overhauling the power sector and incentivising investment in renewables to boost electricity generation and promote energy-cost efficiency.

He encouraged sub-national governments and private investors to leverage the opportunities provided by the Electricity Act 2023 to improve energy security in Nigeria.

The MAN boss said the government should lead by example and prioritise the patronage of made-in-Nigeria products in all its purchases and government contracts and projects.

According to him, the government should mandatorily upscale patronage of made-in-Nigeria products by deliberately reducing the country’s excessive reliance on imported products.

“The three tiers of government should enforce the implementation of the Executive Order 003 in same for their ministries, departments and agencies. The government should encourage local sourcing of raw materials through comprehensive and integrated incentives to address the challenges of low productivity and imported inflation.

“They must utilise the 2024 Budget to sustain efforts at improving infrastructure developments, especially in strategic industrial hubs, to reduce operational and logistic costs and promote competitiveness,” he said.

He also stressed that all measures must be maintained to boost liquidity level and degree of transparency in the official foreign exchange window even as the backlog of $7 billion foreign exchange obligations was being cleared.

He said Nigeria should manage the floating exchange rate system within an acceptable lower and upper bound, pending the actualisation of net-exporting economy aspirations. He called for prioritising foreign exchange and credit allocation to manufacturers and reducing bureaux de change into large, well-established operators.

Ajayi-Kadir stated, “Nigeria should encourage inflow of foreign direct investments into pre-determined and domestic production-enhancing businesses. We should intentionally guide Diaspora remittances into non-oil sectors, especially manufacturing, to aid foreign exchange inflows and curb rising inflation.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria should intensify its collaboration with the fiscal authority, Federal Ministry of Finance, and, by extension, the Tariff Technical Committee. This is for proper policy alignment on the appropriate HS Codes for items that Nigeria has sufficient capacity to discourage importation and save scarce foreign exchange.”

The MAN director-general added, “The apex bank should allow foreign exchange access for the importation of vital industrial inputs that are currently not available locally and subject them to backward integration policy that gives priority to a predictable sunset clause.”

Ajayi-Kadir said MAN “offers to be part of a monitoring and evaluation team to ensure that the government gets value for incentives offered to achieve this objective.”

Ajayi-Kadir also urged the CBN to develop a sustainable framework to channel credit interventions into the manufacturing sector outside the direct intervention.

Additionally, he said it should mobilise commercial banks to intentionally provide long-term, single-digit interest loans to the manufacturing sector to fast-track the actualisation of a $1 trillion economy.

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