By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos, Oct. 6, 2021 The Manufacturer Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG) has urged the Federal Government to address activities hindering exporters’ competitiveness at the global market.
Chairman, MANEG, Chief Ede Dafinone, gave the charge on Wednesday, in Lagos, at the MANEG fourth Annual General Meeting with the theme: ” The implication of Impository and Retaliatory Tariffs and Nontariff Barriers on Trade.”
Dafinone noted that the theme was pertinent at this time considering the recent imposition of full import duties on transit goods by the government of the Republic of Benin.
He stated that since the advent of coronavirus pandemic, exporters had been struggling with reduced international demands coupled with domestic economic challenges.
Dafinone lamented the increasing exchange rates, high cost of energy, dwindling international demands, multiple levies and taxes hindering exporters activities at the global market.
The MANEG chairman said that port congestion, unending Apapa gridlock, infrastructural deficiencies and smuggling still caused untold constraints on manufacturing operations.
“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the value of manufactured goods exports fell by 3.1 per cent in Q4 2020, compared to the value recorded in Q3 2020 and 74.7 per cent compared to Q4 2019 and in 2020.
“The value of manufactured exports was 53.7 per cent lower than the value recorded in 2019.
“Besides the pandemic, domestic policies of government on non-oil export incentives and exchange rate policy affected the prosperity of the manufactured products export sector,” he said.
On the macro-economic environment of the non-oil export business, Dafinone expressed hope that the Federal Government would support the exporters with the payment of the backlog of Export Expansion Grant (EEG) through the promissory note programme.
“Whilst the exporters are yet to recover from the losses incurred due to the prolonged land border closure by the government, the novel COVID-19 global pandemic erupted.
“Although, we thank the government for paying backlogs of EEG, it is important to note that the non-payment of the full-face value of the amounts due to exporters, on the promissory notes, impacts adversely on the global market competitiveness of the Nigerian manufacturing exporters,” he said.
In his remarks, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Mansur Ahmed, urged manufacturers to continue to build the resilience that the country needs to scale through the present challenges.
“We must also prepare the economy for the headwinds that are still ahead to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the challenges.
“We are already witnessing the emergence of new ways of organising our businesses arising from the impositions of the constraints of COVID-19.
“This is through the emergence of digital and virtual ways of engaging and connecting businesses,” Ahmed said.
He acknowledged the opportunities coming from the efforts of companies in Africa to build a stronger, deeper, and wider prosperous market.
The President, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Dr Ken Ukaoha, said the total trade of the ECOWAS region was averaged at about 208.1 billion dollars, with an estimated export projection of 137.3 billion dollars and a total import of 80.4 billion dollars.
According to him, Nigeria occupies about 76 per cent of the total trade in ECOWAS while Ghana and Cote Ivoire occupy 9.2 per cent and 8.64 per cent, respectively.
“With this, one would be concerned over the lack of value addition on Nigerian commodities, as it weakens the nation’s export capacity,” Ukaoha said.
MAN seeks FG intervention over activities hindering exports
By Rukayat Moisemhe