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MAN seeks special forex allocation status

Worried by the inefficiency exhibited by commercial banks in carrying the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive to earmark 60% of forex to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the group has called for the adoption of concessionary Forex allocation mechanism.

This is to enhance productivity in the nation’s manufacturing sector and be more competitive.

The President of the association, Dr Frank Jacobs, made the call in an interview, saying the Federal Government should encourage export of manufactured and other non-oil products to boost foreign exchange earnings and activate automatic stabilisers, especially for the manufacturing sector.

Jacobs said there was need to intensify efforts towards increasing non-oil revenue to enable the country’s economy get out of the recession.

The MAN president said that the industrial sector, especially the manufacturing sub-sector, should be strengthened by removing all obstacles restraining its growth and competitiveness.

He decried what he described as indiscriminate changes in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) and called for the reduction of other rates, especially refinancing and bank lending rates.

Jacobs said that government should create special funding windows for the manufacturing sector to enhance its productivity.

According to him, exclusion of 41 items, mainly of essential raw materials, from the official Forex market had also affected the sector.

“If the items have not been excluded, they would have enabled the sector to be optimally productive and generate employment.

“The sector would have also mobilised capital, create wealth and enhance technology acquisition,’’ he said.

The president called on government to intensify backward integration in the agricultural sector to catalyse more industrial input supply, adding that these would free more funds for the government.

Jacobs said solution to the current recession required strong government resolve and commitment to re-energise the economy for increased revenue.