Mr Samuel Kolawole, the Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Southwest chapter says speedy implementation of government’s intervention will help the sector mitigate the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19).
While making this call in Ibadan on Monday, he noted that the pandemic has dealt a negative impact on the sector just like other sectors and Government’s intervention would be good for the sector as it would enable it pick up.
“The impact of COVID-19 can be felt everywhere and the manufacturing sector has been badly impacted. Although, we can say that even in the midst of the challenges, a number of companies are benefiting from it because cartons of sanitiser and PPE are being produced in large quantities. So, those who are into such businesses may be seen to be profiting from it and benefiting from it. But there are other challenges that go beyond the products produced. COVID-19 has affected the income of so many households in Nigeria. So, even if it is in your favour to produce some of these products, what about the market for the products. Restrictions of movement affected so many organisations even the ones that are in the kind of businesses that should be profiting now where they have to import their materials from outside the country. Availability of foreign exchange and the cost of bringing them in are also affecting the operations of businesses”.
He explained that the association is hoping that some of the things the government was doing will translate in practice to assisting manufacturers get out of the challenges confronting them noting that there were a number of initiatives that the government had made and was working on.
“All the things promised should be sped up so that we can begin to enjoy them and receive them. When and how it will begin to manifest is another thing entirely. We have heard of billions that have been earmarked, availability of funds for medium scale industry and all that. The reality is that there is so much that is to be done and what has been done is good but it is not enough. And we are hoping that some of the things done will begin to come to reality. Pronouncement should be followed by implementation. One thing is to make pronouncement, another thing is for what has been earmarked to get to those that need them at the right time they need them”.
Kolawole noted that elsewhere, governments assists organisations in supplementing payments to their workers, adding that so many things could be done for companies to benefit from in Nigeria as many companies are owing banks hence the need for government to take steps in that direction.