The Federal Government (FG) has reiterated its commitment to ensure that Nigerian manufacturers have access to more foreign exchange (Forex).
Receiving a delegation of Expand Global Industries Limited, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo admitted that it is true that manufacturing companies in the country are struggling with the shortage of forex.
Hence, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is advancing its moves to help them access more forex, which will assist them in the importation of their machineries.
Aside from the need to provide access to more forex, Adebayo also assured that manufacturers in the country will start experiencing the removal of other bottlenecks that are impeding their production processes, particularly as it relates to the ease of doing business.
“His ministry would continue to partner with manufacturers to ensure that they were kept in business for the good of the investors,” a statement from Special Assistant to the minister on Media, quoted Adeniyi as saying.
It would be recalled that in December, the President had assured manufacturers in the country that the federal government would take appropriate measures to improve access to foreign exchange (forex) for importation of raw materials and machines that are not readily available locally.
Buhari gave the manufacturers the assurance when he received the leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) during its advocacy meeting to State House, Abuja.
“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 recognise that MAN remains a key stakeholder in this journey and we will continue our engagement with you,” he told the manufactuers.
Manufacturers’ struggles with forex
Shortly after Buhari was sworn-in as Nigeria’s President, the federal government excluded importers of certain goods and services from accessing foreign exchange.
The restriction experienced by manufacturers in the country’s forex market, according to the government, was important and would be helpful in its commitment to conserve the external reserves as well as encourage local production of those items.
BizWatch Nigeria understands that most manufacturers in the country rely on forex to procure raw materials for their productions. Hence, the outcry for more access to it cannot be overemphasised.