Manufacturers fight coronavirus with N8bn cash, N300m materials

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Mansur Ahmed

Manufacturers in the country under the umbrella of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria said it has donated N8bn cash and N300m palliative materials to the Federal and State governments during this coronavirus pandemic

The President, MAN, Mansur Ahmed disclosed this in Lagos at the association’s 48th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos.

Ahmed expressed his appreciation to members for their support to government when it was most needed to provide palliative as a way to cushion hardship experienced by Nigerians and to contain the spread of Covid-19.

He said, “From our record, manufacturers donated about N8 billion in cash and N300 million worth of palliative materials to both Federal and State Governments.”

While he noted that the coronavirus has had adevastatinh effect on global economy, which had also affected the day-to-day lives of the people.

“This year marks a turning point not only in the economy but also in the day to day activities in our respective lives.”

Ahmed said the pandemic had disrupted the global supply chain, caused a massive slowdown in the international trade and iworsened the nation’s already fragile economy.

He added that the consequence of this development was that sectoral groups ran short of supplies of raw materials due to disruptions in the global value chain and many still could not access forex.

He equally lamented that the global price of crude oil also crashed leaving the country with no choice than to review downward its expenditure plan for the year.

“The manufacturing sector performance that was expected to be strong having recorded an impressive performance in the 4th quarter of 2019 on account of border closure suffered a huge setback.

“In the same vein, inflationary pressure remains a source of concern as COVID-19 disrupted the demand and supply side of the global economy.”

Ahmed said the outcomes of COVID-19 in the country include lockdown, near shut down of the operations of eight manufacturing sectoral groups, disruption in supply chain, and inventory of unsold items and loss of jobs.

While he commended the government for the initiative towards unifying foreign exchange windows in the country, Ahmed however, urged the Central Bank of Nigetia to ensure that the unavoidable shocks that would result from multiple exchange transition to a single exchange regime are properly managed to have minimal effect on the sector.

He noted particularly the burden of foreign currency denominated loans and offsetting of existing credit commitments to foreign suppliers of raw materials should be given priority consideration.

“It is our conviction that the foreign exchange unification initiative will engender a regime of a balanced participation for forex users and promote a transparent as well as efficient allocation of forex required for sustained economic growth,” he said.

 

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