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Sell redundant national assets to get out of recession – Manufacturers tell Buhari

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The President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Jacobs, has said that idle assets that no longer yield dividends to government can be sold to better the current economic situation in the country.

Jacobs said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that funds realised from the sale of such assets could be used to develop structures that would enhance the economy.

“What I will recommend is the sale of idle assets that are no longer yielding dividends to government.

“Government can also privatise those idle assets that have become redundant, such as 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 in the manufacturing sector, Jacobs said the economy had not been favourable to the sector, adding that past challenges still lingered on.
He mentioned a few of the challenges as including indiscriminate changes in the Monetary Policy Rate; adding that this was a restraining obstacle that should be removed.

Jacobs said that the 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.
He also emphasised the need to intensify 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.

Jacobs also 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.
He noted that the 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. It will insulate the economy from the present experience and future external shocks,” he said.

He lamented that most manufacturers have resorted to the parallel market for forex, noting “this is expensive and has made their products uncompetitive, price-wise.”

NAN

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