President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to take appropriate measures to improve access to foreign exchange (forex) for the importation of raw materials and machines that are not available locally.
Buhari stated this during an advocacy visit of the leadership of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), led by Mansur Ahmed, to the Presidential Villa Abuja, on Wednesday.
The president, who was reacting to requests on making the manufacturing sector contribute more to the Nigerian economy, said the relevant Ministry would revisit their concerns about the increase in excise duties on the identified products and other tariff-related matters
On the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the president said Nigeria would fast track the process of setting up the Designated Competent Authority that will superintend the administration of Rules of Origin and Commission as well as the automation for issuance of electronic Certificate of Origin.
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According to him, the federal government will also ensure that relevant structured platforms are established for monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the Ease of Doing Business and improved Government patronage of made in Nigeria products.
‘‘Our strategic plan to boost manufacturing activities in the country is on course.
‘‘We will continue to improve the patronage of locally made goods, bridge the gap between skills required by industry and those provided by our tertiary institutions and ensure seamless access to long term finance for our Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
‘‘We recognize that MAN remains a key stakeholder in this journey and we will continue our engagement with you,’’ he said.
According to the president, a private sector led economy is the way to create jobs in the country.
He, therefore, urged the leadership of MAN to continue to encourage manufacturers that government recognized the resilience of their members and other private sector organisations in promoting a virile manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
‘‘I beseech you to continue to support the Government in our quest to provide the appropriate environment that will attract the necessary investment both domestic and foreign for the upliftment of the nation’s economy,’’ he said.