Members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) (Imo /Abia branch) have cried out to the Federal government to assist them rescue their business empires from possible extinction arising from prevailing numerous challenges.
Chairman of the Association, Prince Uba Obasi, who briefed newsmen shortly after a one-day crucial meeting with his members in Owerri listed these impediments to include: double taxation, removal of fuel subsidy, high cost of importation of production materials, insecurity, incessant harassment and extortion of truck drivers ferrying raw materials and finished products by security personnel as well as deplorable roads saturated with potholes in addition to erratic and epileptic power supply.
According to Obasi, non-availability of regular power supply had constrained the members to operate their businesses 24 hours with generators with unspeakably prohibitive high cost of fuel and diesel.
Prince Obasi lamented that the Aba/Port-Harcourt and Aba/Owerri Roads had now deteriorated to an unimaginable level resulting in frequent breakdown of vehicles, adding that a number of factories, companies and industries can no longer offer employment to job seekers because of double taxation.
“If nothing is done to alleviate some of these problems especially in respect of increasing high cost of imported materials, astronomical and high cost of procurement of local materials we might be constrained to trim our workforce which will throw many of our workers into the already saturated labour market.”
The MAN chairman, who spoke in tandem with some other members of his association said that while access to credit facilities from banks and raw materials have since become a mission quite impossible, armed robbers now operate unhindered in their companies with disastrous consequences.
“It is no longer news that manufacturers are really suffering and what we are suffering in Nigeria today is cost induced inflation. Everything now is tied to dollars and one begins to wonder what has happened to the currency swap agreement which we signed with China some time ago.
“Most of our workers are asking for an increase in their salaries and you cannot blame them but unfortunately, we cannot grant their request because of the unconducive atmosphere we now find ourselves. Government should do something to mitigate our plight and it is not about palliatives but about domesticated policies that will work for us,” he stated.