By Merit Ibe
The Federal Government has disclosed that the manufacturing sector has demonstrated over the years that it is the backbone of the country’s employment sector, as it currently employsover seven million Nigerians.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, made the remark during the virtual cake cutting event to mark the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) 50 years celebration at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, at the weekend.
Adebayo noted that the role the sector plays in nation building cannot be over emphasised, as it has contributed over $40 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last 20 years in terms of total output growth.
Congratulating MAN on its anniversary, the minister explained that the productive sector of the Nigerian economy is the engine room of Nigeria’s GDP currently because of its significant contribution as the live wire of the economy.
“I bring greetings from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) and I wholeheartedly congratulate MAN on its 50th anniversary. Nigerian manufacturing sector has come a long way since the establishment MAN.
‘‘There are many aspects of manufacturing sector that crave for recognition, especially in the scale of growth, it has achieved increased total output by over $40 billion in the last 20 years in addition to closely employing seven million, among several landmark achievements.
“We have seen amazing example like in the cement sector which has witnessed incredible growth rate fully dedication to local demands and has attained the capacity to export cement to the neighbouring countries.”
In his address, President of MAN, Mansur Ahmed, explained that the anniversary will remain special to the Association as it marks the date of its incorporation and day Nigeria birthed a private sector-led advocacy body for its real sector.
He noted that the event was holding simultaneously in the association’s head office in Lagos and at its liaison office in Abuja as well as its 14 branches across the country.
“From a humble beginning in 1971, MAN has evolved into the authentic voice of manufacturers in Nigeria – a credible platform for the private sector to formulate and articulate policy suggestions that complement government’s efforts in the overall interest of the economy.
“This could not have been possible without the long-standing commitment and immense support of our strategic partners, both local and international.
Today, MAN’s membership strength is over 2,500 which comprises the multinationals, large corporations, small and medium scale industries. These members are serviced through our 14 branches nationwide; 10 sectoral and 76 sub-sectoral groups; The Abuja Liaison Office and the National Head Office in Lagos.
In West Africa and Africa, MAN has played significant roles in fostering collaboration amongst manufacturers and advancing the interest and recognition of the Private Sector. We are currently mobilising the various Manufacturers Association in West Africa to revive the Federation of West African Manufacturers Association (FEWAMA) with the active support of ECOWAS. At the same time; in conjunction with the African Union, MAN is leading the formation of the Pan-African Manufacturers Association.
“And in response to the start -up of the AfCFTA, MAN is an active part of a continental Private Sector Movement to bring the African Private under a single Umbrella – The African Business Council where our President has been elected the Vice President of the Council.
“As we celebrate our giant strides in the last 50 years, this cake cutting ceremony commemorates the immense contributions of our founding fathers: Late Chief Adeola Odutola, Chief Jerome Udoji, Late Babatunde Jose, Alhaji Hassan Adamu (Wakili Adamawa) and a host of others.
“I also sincerely wish to appreciate every member of MAN and the entire staff of the association for their unalloyed support and commitment towards ensuring our noble Association continues to deliver on its mandate.”