Odiri Erewa-Meggison, the Chairman of the Export Promotion Group within the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has expressed that the current period is the most challenging in the history of the manufacturing sector.
Erewa-Meggison made this statement during the Annual General Meeting of MAN’s export division, which had the theme ‘Competitiveness of Manufactured Products under the AfCFTA in the face of rising production costs in Nigeria.’
In her opening remarks, she highlighted the difficulties faced by exporters, including reduced international demand, and domestic economic issues such as high exchange rates, elevated energy costs, numerous taxes and levies, port congestion, persistent security concerns, and infrastructural limitations, among others.
- She remarked, “You will agree with me that the choice of the theme for our AGM comes at the appropriate time considering the fact that the manufacturing sector is experiencing the toughest period in the history of its existence as a result of the prevailing economic situation in Nigeria.”
Erewa-Meggison also appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider the exclusion of 34 deserving exporters who were previously excluded from participating in the Promissory Notes Program by the 9th Assembly.
Need to capitalise on AfCTA and drive down cost
Segun Ajayi-Kadir, the Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, emphasized the paramount importance of cultivating an export-oriented economy.
He urged manufacturers to remain resilient while navigating the demanding business environment and capitalize on the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
- In his words, “So, the theme for this year is very special because we are looking at our competitiveness even in the midst of rising production costs. You will all agree with me that one of the most difficult things to do in Nigeria is to drive down your costs because inflation continues to head north, while profitability heads south. This is the reality that we face every day.”