MAN renews complaints over forex, supports government’s assets stripping
Weeks after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said foreign exchange allocation to the real sector would be increased to 60 per cent, operators have denied noticeable improvements.
Besides, they have thrown weight behind the Federal Government’s plans to reduce holdings in some national assets as a way of raising fund to fight recession and ensure efficiency in their operations.
A section of the real sector operators under the aegis of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) yesterday, said its members are yet to benefit from the 60 per cent allocation by CBN alleging that there are discordant tunes coming from the apex bank.
Speaking ahead of its ‘Manufacturers Yearly Lecture’, President, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, reiterated that government should reduce some of its shareholding on national assets.
“LNG is a profitable company, government has huge share of 51 per cent which is managed efficiently by the private sector. If government reduces equity from some of these assets, they would function properly. Both foreign and local investors have lost confidence in doing business in the country, if reduction of national assets would bring back investors that would be a laudable initiative.
“We are engaging CBN on the forex allocation, although we have not really benefitted from it but that does not mean that the government is not sensitive to our course,” he said.
According to him, it is going to take a lot to bring the country out of recession and government must now get its acts right and strategic too.
He pointed out that if government can take some of MAN’s recommendations by reducing ownership of companies, undertake building of infrastructure and come out with clear prescriptions on how private sector can drive the economy, the country would profit.
Speaking at the event, he said, the association has scheduled to hold its 2016 Manufacturer’s Yearly Lecture tomorrow in Abuja.
The lecture is an advocacy platform designed for experts and chief executives of manufacturing concerns in Nigeria to review the performance of the sector and appraise the state of the economy in the past year.
As parts of deliverables of the lecture, he noted that the association will provide insight on manufacturers’ expectation for 2017, present vivid picture of the current realities of operating business concerns and suggest policy direction out of the current recession experienced by the country.
With the theme: ‘Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: The role of Government in manufacturing’, President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to declare the lecture open with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. The President and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is also expected to deliver a speech as the guest speaker.
“The truth is, our economy is currently challenged and MAN believes that with concerted efforts from all stakeholders, we shall overcome the current economic challenges. We are hopeful that Government would continue to adopt home grown policies and strategies that have the capacity to offer required economic fillip to the manufacturing sector,” he said.