Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state, says time is apt to further strengthen partnership between public and private sector toward propelling economic recovery and competitive manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
Ambode, represented by Mr Rotimi Ogunleye, Lagos Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, said this in Lagos at the 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ikeja branch.
He said that sustained growth pattern required commitment that would facilitate the utilisation of productive resources, adequate exploitation and implementation of policies targeted at economic growth.
Ambode, however, said that in spite of the immense contribution of the manufacturing sector, it was still challenged with high interest rate, foreign exchange challenges, poor power supply and low capacity utilisation.
He said that the challenges had hindered the competitiveness and constrained the sectors job creation efforts.
According to him, Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent is high and will inhibit growth of the real sector.
He urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to emulate the efforts of his administration that created a single digit interest rate loan for entrepreneurs through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.
The governor noted that government was committed to creating environment that would enable the survival of the real sector in recognition of its significance to socio-economic development of the country.
He said that the state government would continue to formulate and implement policies tailored toward creating a business friendly environment that would attract and catalyse private sector investment in the state.
Dr Frank Jacobs, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, urged the government to embark on urgent remedial repairs of roads in Ikorodu and Ikeja Industrial areas toward easing human and movement of goods.
He also urged the government to enshrine patronage of made in Nigeria products on its procurement policies and processes.
Prince Felix Okojie, Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Ikeja branch, urged CBN to formulate policies that would boost industrial production and economic growth for the country’s total exit from recession into economic boom.
He called for harmonisation of fiscal and monetary policies toward checking inflationary trend, high cost of food, transport and energy cost through increased investment in infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing.
Okojie said that manufacturers were expecting policies that would make borrowing easier and cheaper for increased investment in the manufacturing sector.