Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Nigeria’s manufacturing sector development is critical to the present administration’s industrialization agenda.
Osinbajo stated this yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 2018 edition of the Nigeria Manufacturing Equipment (NME) Expo and Manufacturing Partnership for African Development (mPAD).
He explained that the industrial sector is key to the actualization of the administration’s Economic Recovery Plan, adding that the private sector is an integral part towards actualizing this objective.
The vice-president, who was represented at the event, by the Special Adviser to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. (Mrs.) Jumoke Oduwole, said that the role of the manufacturing sector cannot be overemphasised at this period of the country’s economic development.
He added that if Nigeria plans to join the leagues of comity of industrialized economies, then manufacturing must be prioritize in all ramifications.
The vice-president, however lauded the impact of the manufacturing sector to the country’s economy, adding that last year, the sector added about 9.6 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product, an improvement to the previous’ year.
He explained that the country’s economic development is tied to the private sector’s role, adding that the administration is committed to create enabling environment for the private sector businesses to thrive.
Speaking further, Osinbajo explained that it was in order to change the steady and steep decline that the administration adopted the more sustainable policies and programmes captured in the Economic Recovery Plan.
In his own welcome address at the occasion, the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Frank Udemba Jacobs, stated that MAN, through this annual international event, has taken the challenge of leading the sector to play a key role in the renewed quest for the nation to become one of the leading industrialised economies in the world.
Jacobs stated that the event provided a veritable platform for SMEs to learn new production processes in order to boost their production output, reduce costs, improve product quality and diversify into new product lines.
According to him, the infusion of the NIRAM Expo into the NME Expo is to afford several companies and countries who have registered as exhibitors as well as visitors to the expo an opportunity of exposure to the entire manufacturing value chain, which include machinery, equipment, raw materials, financial support and professional consultancy.
He explained that the primary objective of NIRAM Expo is to create a platform where stakeholders in the raw materials value chain come together to synergize, showcase and trade-in available resources and raw materials with the users of same, which is mainly the manufacturing sector.
He said: “May I use this opportunity to assure foreign exhibitors, our partners and other stakeholders that our members are prepared to extend their hands of fellowship to them. This fellowship, I believe, will raise the standard of manufacturing business in Nigeria; without jeopardising the resource-based industrialisation policy. This will also go a long way in raising the level of competitiveness of our products at the international market, thus changing the foreign exchange earning pattern of Nigeria.”