According to the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), the manufacturing sector in Nigeria requires additional incentives to enhance it. Ray Atelly, the President of NBCC, conveyed this message during a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday. He emphasised that such measures would not only lead to an increase in job opportunities but would also contribute towards poverty reduction and foster socio-economic development across the nation. Since its establishment in 1977, NBCC has played a vital role in encouraging trade and investment between Nigeria and Britain.
Also, the chamber expressed its dedication to enhancing the visibility and success of its members across diverse industries in Nigeria. During the statement on Tuesday, Mr. Atelly highlighted that a chamber-conducted survey exposed obstacles and significant dilemmas encountered by businesses and manufacturers operating in Nigeria. Insecurity, inflation, the fluctuating Naira exchange rate, the floating of the Naira, ongoing tax audits, a multitude of taxes, constant shifts in government policies, the burden of governance expenses, worries about cyber security, and a host of other obstacles were all itemised.
Insufficient incentives impact the sector negatively.
Nigeria’s manufacturing sectors also face other challenges that impact its competitiveness, as highlighted by Mr. Atelly. These include insufficient manufacturing incentives, a persistent issue of skilled workers leaving unexpectedly, insufficient measures to safeguard local industries, limited patronage capacity, and a lack of consumer credit. He expanded on his point by stating that the nation needs to offer improved incentives that tackle crucial aspects of manufacturing, like reliable electricity supply and convenient access to raw materials and machinery for production. Additionally, he emphasised the importance of creating a business-friendly atmosphere.
Mr. Atelly added that it is crucial to commence safeguarding Nigerian products and addressing the infiltration of substandard goods that pose competition to locally produced items. To achieve this, it is imperative to grant Nigerian products preferential access to financial assistance and loans, aiding in the acquisition of essential manufacturing components. However, there is a way out of every challenge. In this, their focus lies on finding solutions rather than wasting time on unproductive lamentation and blame games, which offer no real value.
Women and youth development centres were initiated.
Regardless of the solution, their belief remains strong that the government must take unprecedented action urgently. They firmly assert that the time to act is at this very moment. He stressed the imperative of ceasing to distribute cash as mere palliative measures to individuals, instead highlighting the potential for training them to enhance productivity. As an endeavour to promote investment in women and youth, the NBCC has implemented a non-profit organisation called the Women and Youth Entrepreneurship Development Centre.
He added that the initiative will be launched in April. This initiative aims to empower individuals with skills and drive economic development, and it is seeking support from nations within the Commonwealth. The time has come to make a true investment in young people and enable them to participate in economic activities beyond minor roles and limited operations. He stated that it is time to start producing, even if it means beginning with basic tools and gradually improving along the way. Nonetheless, he emphasised the importance of generating goods. He also urged the implementation of a nationwide strategy to overflow the markets with manufactured products from Nigeria.
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Moreover, NBCC is an exclusive entity that strives to foster connections between British enterprises across all tiers. Its main goal is to advocate for, safeguard, and progress any issues related to business. It actively solicits innovative concepts for bolstering the nation’s economic steadiness. Moreover, NBCC is dedicated to actively boosting and endorsing the country’s private sector. It plays a pivotal role in providing a wide-reaching network for establishing both national and global business connections while also presenting lucrative prospects.