The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intervene in the lingering high interest rate in Nigeria’s financial sector, in order to boost manufacturing in the country.
Chairman of MAN in Rivers and Bayelsa States, Mrs. Emilia Akpan, who made the call while speaking to newsmen shortly after the council meeting in Port Harcourt said the high interest rates was among factors militating against the operations of the manufacturing sector.
Akpan stated that interest rate in Nigeria ranges between 20 and 22 per cent, as against 1.5 and 2 percent prevalent in other countries, a situation which has been attributed to the poor state of the manufacturing sector in the country.
Lamenting that the situation has thrown many manufacturers have been thrown out of business, the MAN chairman said that besides the high interest rates, manufacturers in the chapter were also confronted by security challenges, multiple taxation and corruption
She further said many manufacturers in the chapter were going out of operation, due to the inherent challenges, lamenting that the situation was worsening the rate of unemployment in the country, as several workers are pushed into the labour market with the closure of any manufacturing outfit.
Akpan said; “Banks should structure loans to manufacturers in such a way that it will be easy for them to manage. No manufacturer will run away with any bank’s money.
“We felt that many people are afraid to go into manufacturing because of lack of support from banks and manufacturing is the only way they can mop up all those unemployed in the street. Government should do something through the CBN.”
She therefore called on the Rivers State House of Assembly to hasten the passage of the planned bill to harmonise taxes in the state to end the continued harassment of manufacturers by local government revenue agents.
"Members are complaining about the harassment by local government officials. It is obvious that we are back to the old days again despite the promise of government to harmonise taxes. We are calling on the government should bring out the bill so that we have a clear cut idea of what we are supposed to pay as taxes.