The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has lamented that the double inflation digits was occasioned by the up-surge of the exchange rates. Chairman, MAN, Apapa Branch, Engr Frank Onyebuwho stated this at the Association’s annual general meeting (AGM) recently held in Lagos. Onyebuwho noted that foreign exchange suddenly became very scarce with most manufacturers unable to procure vital raw materials.
He said, “Exchange rate shot up, driving inflation to double digits. At the same time consumer demands plummeted. To make matters worse, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, which led to government imposing a lockdown that affected most of the industrial regions of the country.”
He pointed out that companies, which had been struggling prepandemic, had to face the fight for survival, stressing that many companies were forced to lay off staff in order to remain afloat, which compounded the already precarious unemployment situation.
He stressed that economic activities within their area of operation were hampered by decaying, or in some cases complete absence of infrastructure: epileptic power supply, deteriorating roads, inefficient port operations, amongst others.
Also, past chairman, MAN, Ikeja, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, urged the federal government to formulate policies that is capable of promoting manufacturing, advising MAN members to be export focused for the country to be able recover quickly from the prevailing recession, and to record economic growth. He said, “The Nigerian manufacturing sector has long been in dire straits even before the advent of COVID-19. Inflation has climbed to 14.23 per cent at end of October, unemployment at 27.1 per cent as at second quarter (Q2), 2020 and misery index at 39.66 per cent.
Youth unemployment is frightening at 34.9 per cent and poverty has shot up to 40.1 per cent, thus, drastically eroding consumer purchasing power. “Rapid depreciation of the naira against the dollar and other international currencies is helping to fuel inflation. Nigeria is actually facing revenue and productivity crisis. Revenue is running far short of expense forcing the government to resort to what many call excessive borrowing.”