Nigerian foreign exchange markets stability is reliant on the actions and expertise of domestic manufacturers, as emphasized by Paul Alaje, the chief economist at SPM Professionals. During the 56th Annual General Meeting, coordinated by the Ikeja Branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), held in Lagos, a public lecture took place where he made the statement. According to Alaje, manufacturers hold the key to achieving the stability that is desired in Nigerian foreign exchange market.
The National Bureau of Statistics periodically releases Nigeria’s import pattern data, which reveals an intriguing fact: more than 90 percent of the country’s imports consist of manufacturing inputs. The reason behind Nigeria’s importation of petrol, for instance, stems from a manufacturing problem that the nation faces. This is similar for processed foods and virtually any other item that dominates the nation’s import list. By lending a receptive ear to manufacturers and prioritizing their needs, the government holds the key to tackling a significant portion, roughly 40-50 percent, of the nation’s economic hurdles.
Advocating the adoption of Nigerian-made products.
Alaje underlined the potential impact of enhancing domestic manufacturing capacities, as it can lead to a decrease in reliance on imports and ultimately contribute to the stability of the foreign exchange market. For years, Nigeria has been acknowledged as a country that relies heavily on imported goods to fulfil its local needs. Consequently, this dependence on foreign products has further strained its currency reserves. The largest economy in Africa has faced immense difficulties in effectively managing the long-standing issue of insufficient dollars on the official market.
As a result, trading activity has consistently decreased, leading to a significant devaluation of the naira against the dollar, reaching an all-time low. Alaje emphasized during his lecture the importance of directing attention towards enhancing value addition and promoting local sourcing. This strategy aims to decrease dependency on imported raw materials while simultaneously enhancing the overall competitiveness of Nigerian products on a global scale. By advocating the adoption of Nigerian-made products, the country’s gross domestic product can be bolstered while generating employment opportunities for the youth.
Attention was paid to the trials encountered by the manufacturing sector.
This can be achieved through a strategic focus on local content, harnessing the power of technology, and fostering competitiveness. During his opening speech, Robert Ugbaja, the chairman of the Ikeja Branch of MAN, expressed the significant importance of manufacturers adopting digital transformation, committing to research investments, and placing innovation as a top priority. These factors are key to ensuring success in today’s uncertain, volatile, ambiguous and complex economy. Foreigners will dictate Nigeria’s future unless manufacturers receive the necessary assistance; this was the consensus among the stakeholders present at the lecture.
Also, the narrative depicted manufacturers as vital contributors rather than insignificant participants, with the general agreement suggesting that their robustness, ingenuity, and ability to fulfil domestic needs play a crucial role in establishing the financial stability of the nation. In the statement of Folasade Ambrose Medebem, the representative for Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, attention was paid to the trials encountered by the Nigerian manufacturing industry. These trials encompass an inadequate infrastructure, wavering policies, and the unpredictable shifts in the global economy.
Lagos State Gov. applauded the endeavours of producers within the nation.
In spite of these obstacles, the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) and its constituents have exhibited an unwavering determination and praiseworthy commitment in propelling the nation’s industrial progress forward. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, applauded the endeavours of producers within the nation, highlighting that over the past couple of years, the manufacturing industry in the country has played a significant role in contributing approximately 9 percent to the overall national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).