A leading International public speaker and industrialist, Rufai Oseni, has decried the sudden drop in Nigeria’s manufacturing capacity from 10 per cent to a paltry three percent since January 2016.
Speaking during the recent book launch titled: ‘Cracking the Code of Possibilities in Business’, by Taiwo Fajolu, the Chief Executive Officer, Quadaline Project Limited, Oseni averred that Africa has failed in trade and commerce, as getting foreign investment in Nigeria is very difficult for a country that formerly has 10 per cent manufacturing capacity in the world, but presently has been reduced to three per cent.
He said “The economy is hardly better and it is wallowing in challenges. This is a country that used to be in double digits growth years back, now struggling to grow at 0.85 per cent. You know the country that grows 0.85 per cent is in the Europe zone, where interest rate is less than one per cent.
“Ask the people you voted for about what they are doing with taxes. Corporate tax in this country is still one of the highest in the world at 32 per cent and it is not viable for a modern economy,” Oseni argued.
He added that claims of exiting recession may not true if what manufacturers are still passing through in Nigeria are put on the table of discuss.
According to him, “it is scary that nobody has lobbied for a proper tax reform in the country nor properly discussed ease of doing business”.
Earlier in his comments on the book launch, Goke Omidiran, warned that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) should not be neglected or discouraged as they are strategic to economic growth of any country.
He blamed the government for lacking innovative ideas and the will to help SMEs and advised that local companies should be given equal opportunity before awarding contract to foreign organisations, to enhance growth in local content.
Continuing, he noted that “There is something we are doing in Nigeria right now that is called local content. Local content is talking about a company that is enjoying an advantage because it is indigenous. The way local content work in U.S is that a contract will only be given to Julius Berger if it will work together with the local companies and a portion of the work will be apportioned to the local company to do”.
“By the time they are done with the project, the local company can handle the contract like the big foreign companies. But in Nigeria, all the work will be done by the big companies or still, the foreign ones” he added.