Tackle economic challenges and diversify, MAN urges government
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on government to salvage the economy by tackling the challenges faced by businesses as a sure way to diversify the economy and earn revenue beyond oil.
Manufacturers made this call at the 289th council meeting of the association, after considering the challenges they face with the current economic hardship.
According to MAN, finance is very critical to the health of businesses in Nigeria, and the high loan interest has raised their concerns. They are, therefore, calling for a reduction in the interest rates for loans to fund their businesses.
“We are very concerned about the high interest rate that banks charge manufacturers. Though government is serious about diversifying the economy, but it cannot do so with the level of interest regime that obtains currently. We are concerned about it and we are hoping government will do something to reduce the interest rate to between three to five percent. That is the sure way to truly diversify the economy.
“The Nigerian economy is in the eye of the storm, created by plummeting oil prices to the level it is today, which shows that the nation does not have any choice than to diversify the economy so that we can earn revenue from other items other than crude oil,” says the Association’s President, Dr. Frank Jacobs.
MAN also identified multiple taxation as one of the many issues manufacturers are battling with, where an individual or company, carries product from one local government to another and ends up paying the same taxes it paid in the first local government at other local government, where it operates.
“That kind of situation cannot help industrialisation. We are appealing to government to harmonise the taxes in this country. So, there should be a one-stop shop, where taxes are paid, and nobody will harass you in any other part of the country.”
Also deliberated upon was the challenge of foreign exchange. Dr. Frank Jacobs commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, because it responded to the pleas for allocation of forex to manufacturers.
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