Expert highlights challenges of manufacturing sector

A local manufacturer, Dan Osakwe, has lamented that local manufacturers were grappling with several challenges, which have made manufacturing very difficult in the country.

Osakwe disclosed this in an interview with The Trumpet in Lagos, maintaining that the increasing cost of energy had dealt a heavy blow on the real sector and that the local manufacturing industry was panning out.

Manufacturing plant

“Rising energy prices have more than doubled the cost of production in the country. Nigeria has one of the highest costs of production globally due to government’s inability to provide stable power supply,” he said.

Lamenting that local manufacturers spend huge amounts of money to power their plants, he said: “About 50 per cent of all the costs most manufacturers incur were due to lack of stable power supply.  The high cost diesel is putting pressure on the revenue base of local manufacturers as against their counterparts outside the country that rely on stable public power supply.”

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Osakwe, who is a small-scale industrialist, also argued that the scarcity of foreign exchange was impacting negatively on local manufacturing, adding that multiple-taxation was also eating deep into the yearly turnover of most Nigerian businesses.

He further pointed out that the activities of revenue agents of local government areas, as well as the police and other security agencies constitute a major challenge to local small businesses.

“Lack of long-term credit facility and high interest rate of commercial banks are some of the challenges facing local manufacturers. The Bank of Industry (BoI) is not ready to give local businesses credit facilities, while the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) that was established to cater for small businesses has not lived up to expectations,” he lamented.

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