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Travails and Struggles of the Nigerian Manufacturing Sector

Nigerians across the country are lamenting the suffering and hardships in the land, crying out for urgent measures by the government at all levels to mitigate their suffering, which they said was becoming intolerable and unbearable.

The hunger in the land is unbearable and Nigerians across the states now find it difficult to afford three meals a day. The increase in food prices and the inability of families to sustain their homes remains the same across the length and breadth of the country and manufacturers in the country are not finding it easy either.

Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa. The country’s re-emergent manufacturing sector became the largest in the continent in 2013, producing a large proportion of goods and services for the West Africa region. Nigeria’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 36.63 per cent in 2021, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The manufacturing industry in Nigeria is an economic sector that brings approximately 10 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year, but despite this huge contribution, the problems faced by this sector is enormous.

Manufacturing in Nigeria is faced with a lot of challenges, chief among them is power supply and diesel cost, most firms rely on “emergency” power generators to run seamless operations eventually adding to costs. Indiscriminate taxes and ever-demanding annual payment to several government agencies are also impairing successes that could have been recorded in the Manufacturing sector. The country’s physical infrastructural deficiencies are also a major constraint, difficult access to credit, double-digit credit facilities from banks and the cost of imported raw materials.

Since the beginning of last year, the Russia-Ukraine war surged the cost of inputs largely used by manufacturers such as diesel and foreign exchange in Africa’s biggest economy. According to the NBS, the average retail price diesel rose by 182.6 per cent in December 2022 to N817.9 per litre from N289.4 per litre in the same period of the previous year 2021.

The country’s apex bank, headed by the insensitive central bank governor Godwin Emiefele, announced the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in January 2023. A total of N20 trillion was estimated to be lost since the policy started. According to a report by the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), signed by the CPPE’s Director-General, Dr Muda Yusuf, the losses emanated from the deceleration of economic activities, crippling of trading activities, stifling of the informal economy, contraction of the agricultural sector, and the paralysis of the rural economy.

Source : Guardian