Manufacturers Task Government on Enabling Business Environment, Policies
By Akintunde Akisanmi
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged the federal government to have a shift towards a better exchange rate management; and moderate the rising energy cost via better management of refined petroleum products imported into the country.
MAN gave the charge in its ‘Manufacturers CEO’s Confidence Index (MCCI)’, a quarterly research and advocacy publication of the Association made available to Brand Times.
It pointed that the fourth quarter of 2022 was adversely affected by escalation in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), continuous erosion in Naira value and difficulty in accessing forex, high cost of energy, persisting insecurity and the consequences of lingering Russian-Ukrainian war. It added that the issues among others are principally responsible for the difficult operating environment and its declining implication on manufacturing activities in the country during the quarter under review.
It pointed that “The Aggregate Index Score (AIS) of MCCI declined to 55.0 points in the fourth quarter of 2022 from 55.4 points obtained in third quarter of the year. The index score of the current quarter though below that of the previous quarter, indicates that manufacturers generally still have confidence in the economy.
“Across Sectoral groups however, activities in the Pulp, Paper, Printing & Publishing with index score of 49.6 points and Motor Vehicle & Miscellaneous Assembly (48.4 points) are negatively affected by the harsh operating environment in the quarter under review as their index scores fell below the 50 base points.
“Similarly, among industrial zones, activities in Rivers/Bayelsa (48.0 points) and Cross-Rivers/Akwa-Ibom (46.5 points) zones were depressed by high-cost of operating environment in the fourth quarter of 2022 as underlined by their index scores which fell below the benchmark points.”
To reduce the current high inflation rate , it advised the government to reduce the rising cost of energy among others.
“Consequent upon the above trends, it is crucially important for the Government to have a shift towards a better exchange rate management; and moderate the rising energy cost via better management of refined petroleum products imported into the country. These among other measures would no doubt help to reduce the current high inflation, which is fast eating-up the working capitals of businesses including manufacturing in the economy, ” it explained.