MAN Ask FG For Subsidized Raw Materials To Aid Manufacturers

Mrs. Ada Chukwudozie, leading the charge as Chair of the South-East arm of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, advocated for governmental intervention in the provision of investment incentives to manufacturers, aiming to catalyze production and invigorate the economy.

According to Chukwudozie, implementing these incentives would streamline business operations for manufacturers, facilitating smoother access to funds and essential raw materials, thereby bolstering their enterprises.

These comments were delivered at the South-East Manufacturers Stakeholders Engagement forum, hosted at the MAN Liaison Office in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Thursday.

Themed “Access to finance and more affordable funding for SMEs in Nigeria,” the program saw significant participation from prominent individuals in the manufacturing industry, including Charles Odii, the Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN.

Speaking to reporters, the head of MAN advocated for government intervention in subsidizing the prices of raw materials for manufacturers and addressing their hurdles, particularly concerning electricity.

She said, “There is the need for governments at all levels to empower manufacturers as this would enhance the country’s economic growth. It will also ensure the stability of the Naira.

“Nigerians need hope. Having listened to all the speakers at the forum, especially the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Charles Odii, I am lifted in the spirit and I am very hopeful that there is hope for Nigeria. It is always difficult to start good things, but with time, it will take its roots and become very fruitful.

“They have signed several MoUs with Anambra and Enugu state governments to dole out N1bn to support businesses with a view to expand their capital base, but that is just a pilot scheme.

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“The money will be given to organised private sector trying to formalise the informal sectors to register with either the chambers of commerce, trade and investment or register with MAN to be able to access the funds.”

She also commended the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, for providing one million seedlings to different households instead of giving them cash.

“So, instead of the governor giving out cash to people, he gave out one million seedlings to each household. These seedlings are economic crops, automatically, those households have been economically empowered for life.

“Therefore, manufacturers should as well receive incentives from the government so that they would produce more goods and if they produce more, they create wealth, jobs and the economy would be abundant and influence the Naira to appreciate against the dollar,’ she said.

She emphasized the importance of Nigerians placing agriculture at the forefront of their priorities, encouraging them to cultivate a bountiful array of food crops instead of focusing solely on decorative flowers.

Addressing attendees, Anambra State’s Industry Commissioner, Christian Udehchukwu, highlighted the state government’s provision of financial resources to bolster small and medium-sized businesses.

Udehchukwu pointed out that the principal purpose of the forum was to inform manufacturers about the exact locations and processes for securing these funds.

He implored manufacturers and traders alike to set a precedent and mirror the state government’s dedication to constructing access roads, thereby bolstering their enterprises.

In his opening remarks, Charles Odii, the Director-General of SMEDAN, highlighted their plan to collaborate with MAN on the “one product, one local government initiative,” aiming to offer manufacturing training on at least one product to every local government.

He pledged that the agency will implement initiatives to assist in accessing financial support.Speaking from her standpoint, Mrs. Maureen Mba, the former Director of Compliance and Leader of the ATG MANSA Digital Initiative at Afreximbank, highlighted the overarching aim of the MANSA platform: to streamline customer onboarding and business relationships, minimize operational complexities and compliance costs, promote collaboration among African financial institutions, and help SMEs fulfill customer and partner expectations while ensuring regulatory adherence. It also seeks to maintain uniformity and efficiency in compliance processes, among other goals.

The focal point of the program was the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MANSA and SMEDAN, paving the way for them to access funds aimed at boosting production capacity.

Africa Today News, New York

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