President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs, says idle assets that no longer yield dividend to government could be sold to reverse the current economic situation.
Jacobs said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja.
He said that funds realised from the sales of the idle assets could be used to develop structures that would enhance the economy of the country.
“What I will recommend is the sale of idle assets that are no longer yielding dividend to government. Government can also privatise those idle assets that have become redundant like the refineries.
“If the idle assets are sold off and income therefrom can properly be deployed to develop structures that will support the industrial sector, it can help to pull the country out of the recession,’’ Jacobs said.
Commenting on the challenges of the manufacturing sector, Jacobs said the country’s economy had not been favourable to the sector, adding that past challenges still linger on.
He mentioned few of the challenges including indiscriminate changes in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which, he said , was a restraining obstacle that should be removed.
Jacobs said that reduction of other rates, especially refinancing and bank lending rates, should be tackled.
According to him, there should be special funding windows for the manufacturing sector to enhance its productivity. According to him, there is need for the intensification of the resource-based industrialisation programme.
“This will save the country a lot of foreign exchange currently being used in importing raw materials. It will also provide free funds for government development projects,’’ he added.
The president called on government to intensify backward integration in the agriculture sector to catalyse more industrial input supply, adding that these would also free more funds for the government.
Jacobs said solution to the current recession required strong government resolve and commitment to re-energise the economy for increased revenue.
“The drive by the current administration to diversify the economy is, therefore, a step in the right direction. This will insulate the economy from the present experience and future external shocks.”
According to him, the sector has been exacerbated recently, even as he stated that the challenges need to be addressed urgently.
Jacobs said that most manufacturers resorted to the parallel market for forex and “this is expensive and has made their products uncompetitive price-wise.”