By Merit Ibe
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has bemoaned the dearth of infrastructure in the country which is impeding the sector’s growth coupled with myriad of other challenges.
The Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, who made the remark recently, noted that capacity utilisation of the nation’s manufacturing sector lags behind that of many other countries.
Ajayi-Kadir said the inadequacy of infrastructure frustrates and makes manufacturing uncompetitive when compared to other countries where better infrastructures are provided by the government.
“It is the manufacturing sector that is largely bearing the brunt of the deficient state of our infrastructure.
“Utilities like power, rail, waterways and roads are essential in manufacturing, because they facilitate seamless access to the market at affordable cost.
“When a nation lacks infrastructure, individuals and firms have to create infrastructure just like most manufacturers in Nigeria currently do; it increases the cost of production and makes essential goods out of the reach of many.
“A major performance indicator of the manufacturing sector is the capacity utilisation which reflects the ability of manufacturing companies to sustain production and cope with a rise in production or meet up with rising demand without increasing cost.”
He explained that the infrastructure deficiency constrains mass production and capacity utilisation, limits market access and hinders price competitiveness which often results in low patronage and reduced manufacturing export earnings.
Going forward, the MAN boss advised that government should sustain the improved level of infrastructure development and be strategic in choosing projects to ensure that they are cited along the economic hubs within the country and those connecting neighbouring countries.