Government, BoI seek operators’ input in addressing real sector challenges

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah

Concerned that many operators in the real sector may be facing peculiar challenges that may not be addressed through sector-wide interventions, the Federal Government and Bank of Industry (BoI) have sought data sharing among stakeholders to address such concerns.

According to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the Federal Government is serious about resolving the challenges hampering economic growth.

Indeed, some operators had noted that capacity utilisation remained low despite the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stating otherwise.

Enelamah who stated this during a factory tour of May and Baker and Fidson Pharmaceuticals at Otta, Ogun, at the weekend said that to achieve the goal, government would partner with the private sector toward understanding their problems and using a systematic approach to resolve the issues.

“The most important legacy we want to achieve as a government is to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive by improving the ease of doing business.

“We are interested in increasing our local production standard and quality assurance of our products. I want to see capacity utilisation keep going up and issues hampering it resolved.

“The thrust is to diversify the economy and the only way we can do this is to partner with the private sector,” he said.

The minister said that government was committed to improvement of infrastructure, power, funding and local procurement of goods that would enhance growth of the manufacturing sector.

The Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Kayode Pitan, said the bank was interested in improving industrial sector’s access to finance for expansion that would aid job creation.

He said that the challenges facing operators in the manufacturing sector were similar and surmountable, adding that government was working assiduously to resolve the issues through its various policies.

The Managing Director, May & Baker Ltd, Dr Nnamdi Okafor, commended government’s effort in improving the country’sbusiness climate through policies and the Executive Orders.

“Your presence shows you want to get first-hand information on challenges impeding the pharmaceutical industry.

“I must commend BoI because without the bank this company would be non-functional. We were able to access about one billion naira from the bank two years ago,” Okafor said.

He urged the government to resolve challenges delaying clearance of goods at the seaports, cost of fund, influx of imported substandard medicines and power challenges.

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