• MAN seeks policies for sustainable industrial devt, infrastructural revival 

    Man seeks policies for sustainable industrial devt infrastructural revival - nigeria newspapers online
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    The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Apapa Branch, has lamented the worsening state of infrastructure in the Amuwo-Odofin and Apapa axis, the activities of non-state actors and multiple legal and illegal taxes, challenges they said have badly affected productivity and manufacturing concerns.
    They emphasised the need for government at all levels to put in place policies that will enhance manufacturers’ competitiveness by providing enabling infrastructure at the different industrial zones and creating a deliberate economic policy towards sustaining industrial development.
    Speaking at the 13th business luncheon, the branch chairperson, Raphael Danilola, said the place of infrastructural development and upgrade cannot be overemphasised in any economy that desires industrial growth, especially with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) implementation. The luncheon is a yearly event that provides a platform for the over 300 member companies of the branch to discuss manufacturing operations and concerns and advocate a better business environment in Nigeria.
    Speaking on the theme, ‘Lagos Infrastructural Development and Upgrade: The Right Policy of Rejuvenating a Mega Industrial City’, Danilola said there can be no sustainable industrial development without the ease of accessing clusters due to the state of deplorable infrastructures. 
    “Any initiative that would lead to a substantial ease in accessing the clusters will in no doubt contribute to ease of doing business and enhance a rejuvenated industrial megacity,” she said.
    Pleading with the Lagos State government to as a matter of urgency, come up with bold initiatives to ameliorate the infrastructural deficit bedevilling the states’ various industrial clusters, he regretted that two of the biggest industrial clusters that contribute the most to the revenue generation of the State, the Amuwo-Odofin and Apapa clusters, suffer very poor infrastructure. He regretted that despite the huge businesses in the Apapa area, coupled with the enormous presence of manufacturing activities, the axis suffers from neglect and rot.
    “The activities of non-state actors have significantly worsened in recent times as manufacturers have no choice but to part with their hard-earned resources to persons contributing nothing to our manufacturing process. We are pained and are pleading with the state government to bring an end to this ugly menace. 
    Prices of input keep soaring higher daily with no end in sight. The current hike in diesel prices and the subsidy removal calls for innovations in our production models to enable us to compete effectively. We were recently confronted with the hike in electricity tariff and migration of most of us to Band A even when we hardly get electricity supply,” she said.
    He said a viable, deliberate economic policy and action plan on closing the infrastructural deficit at our various industrial clusters will not only guarantee market access but also reflect positively on the various macroeconomic indices.
    Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, acknowledged that good infrastructure assets are key drivers of growth in the industrial sector. She said when the 10-lane Lagos-Badagry Expressway, complemented by a light rail line, is completed, it will boost trade significantly by improving connections to the Apapa ports and the West African sub-region.
    “In addition to serving industrial and commercial businesses around Apapa, Orile and Mile 2 axis, the expressway will further support the upcoming Badagry Sea Port, being developed as a regional port to serve both local and international trade. It will particularly serve as an alternative source of entry and exit for goods in the city, thus freeing up Apapa port and environs.”
    She added that the state is also developing additional industrial hubs and enterprise zones in different areas, also claiming that the state government, through the Ministry of Transportation, is coming down hard on non-state actors that have been operating illegally, hindering legitimate business activities.

    Special adviser to the governor on infrastructure, Olufemi Daramola, said for every one per cent of government funds spent on infrastructure, it leads to an equivalent one per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which means there is a correlation between any meaningful inputs in infrastructure development which reflects on economic growth and indices.
    Urging improved private sector participation as government funding is limited, he urged private businesses who have the funds to join hands with the government to provide infrastructure development and in return, enjoy tax holidays as well as branding and advertisement concessions. 

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