BAT Nigeria has praised the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) for its efforts at advancing the cause of manufacturers in Nigeria and seeking the emergence of a more competitive industry.
British American Tobacco (BAT) lauds the efforts of MAN in redressing export barriers
Dr Akinwunmi Adesina advised that Nigeria must have a greater ambition for its manufacturing sector.
Speaking on the sidelines of MAN’s 50th anniversary celebration, during the Annual Manufacturers Conference, the Director of External Affairs, BAT West and Central Africa, Odiri Erewa-Meggison, said that “the Annual Adeola Odutola Lecture titled “Overcoming Binding Constraints to Competitive Manufacturing for Intra-Regional Trade,” is timely in the context of events in the past 18 months.”
She remarked further that “At a time when African countries should be working even more closely together to fine tune arrangements for take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, we are beginning to see a resurgence in non-tariff trade barriers and other measures that negatively impact exports within the region,”
“We (BAT Nigeria) currently export to 14 countries in West and Central Africa and it is from these operations that we generate approximately US$ 119 million in foreign exchange each year. BAT Nigeria is consistently one of the top 5 non-oil exporters each month, thereby contributing significantly to the Federal Government’s objective of diversifying Nigeria’s export revenue base. When you look at the numbers from BAT and other exporters, it tells you that issues like this are critical to the local manufacturing community that exports goods across the region and indeed the Government,” Erewa-Meggison added.
The Annual Odeola Odutola Lecture was presented by Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, AfDB who stated that “the low level of industrial manufacturing is at the core of the slow structural transformation of African economies, with dominance of primary sectors. The situation has also been partly perpetuated by the escalation of tariffs on exports of manufactured goods from Africa. For example, export of raw materials attracts very low tariffs, but value added products from Africa face steep tariffs.”
Dr Akinwunmi advised that Nigeria must have a greater ambition for its manufacturing sector, by integrating and rapidly moving up global and regional value chains in areas of comparative advantage; by and by driving greater specialization and competitiveness.
“A well-developed and policy-enabled manufacturing sector, with an export orientation will spur greater innovation, industrial policies for export market development, and structural transformation of the economy,” he added.
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