Why the government should support manufacturing


By Peter Ogbuokwa

Manufacturing Sector of the country is groaning under the yoke of the recent economic downturn. This has resulted in some organizations merging while others relocate to neighboring countries such as Ghana, Togo, etc., where production and infrastructure costs are cheap.

Indeed, the lack of infrastructure in Nigeria currently makes it difficult for the manufacturing sector to get any appreciable return on investment. The roads are not passable. There is no constant
Electricity that requires manufacturers to run their generator sets at their own expense and still pay electricity bills. Products from china,
although inferior and cheaper, are more acceptable to our people. Inferior as the Chinese organizations and their products are, local industries find it difficult to compete with them. Add to this the uncertainty, you will agree, that manufacturers in the country are going through difficult times.

As a result of the anomalies, young people are fired with energy in their prime in the folding organizations.

Salaries are also owed to workers. Young Nigerian graduates would have to waste on huge investments their parents made for them.
It’s very pathetic. Because of frustrations from unemployment on theirs
Some of them have become criminals, which in turn has led to insecurity in the country.

Meanwhile, some of the manufacturing companies in the country are doing so under intense pressure and astronomical production costs, and as such they resorted to the production of substandard goods. However, a few others are still there to weather the storm. For example, an organization like Lanre Bhadmus Industries Limited, manufacturer of high quality motor oil and other products, creates jobs for many Nigerian youth because of its excellence and makes a positive contribution to the country’s economy while maintaining its standard.

The World Bank recently rated Nigeria’s unemployment and inflation indices as very high and stated that this is fueling uncertainty in the country. The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) classified unemployment in Nigeria as very high at 33.5%.

The situation is terrifying. Countries with high unemployment rates like ours are making little progress. Today many of our youngsters joined Yahoo!
Yahoo and other forms of unemployment crime to survive. The textile companies alone employed a great many in the past
of young people, whether qualified or not. Unfortunately, we lack such an industry today, and that is worrying.

With President Muhammadu Buhari’s mantra of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, I urge the government to support the manufacturing sector by removing or minimizing the bottleneck in access to credit. In addition, it should also provide them with interest-free loans to cushion the effects of the hardship they are experiencing while manufacturing in the country. This in turn enables them to contribute their neighborhood to nation building. It will also boost job creation and the economy in Nigeria, which will ultimately help fight insecurity.

Finally, the government should subsidize some of the raw materials used by indigenous organizations to manufacture goods to encourage them to survive and to force Nigerians, especially those, to survive
in government to patronize them through laws.

• Ogbuokwa writes from Lagos.

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