President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Mansur Ahmed, has said that the association has mapped out strategies to increase its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through value addition.
Addressing newsmen on Thursday in Lagos, Ahmed said that the manufacturing sector was not contributing significantly to the growth of the economy.
Said he: “As you are aware the manufacturing sector is contributing less than 9 per cent of the nation’s GDP, which is not good enough.
“In countries that are even less developed than Nigeria, we have seen higher rates of contribution by the manufacturing sector.
“For instance, in many of our peer countries; Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, the manufacturing sector have been seen to contribute something in the range of 30 per cent to their countries’ GDP, meanwhile, here we are contributing less than 9 per cent.
“So clearly, we have a long way to go to raise the level of contribution of the sector to the GDP, part of which comes from not only scope or depth but from capacity utilization.
“Consequently, we need to make sure that we eliminate those things that on a day to day basis tend to impede the operations of members and therefore reduce their capacity utilization,” he said.
The MAN boss promised to expand the manufacturing sector by bringing more manufacturers into the fold and ensuring that sectoral groups were made vibrant.
“We have about 10 sectoral groups, but if you look at the relative contributions you will observe that not more than four or five sectoral groups are responsible for most of the contributions of the manufacturing sector to the economy and for most of the employment as well,” Ahmed said.
“Value addition is the key to success in manufacturing; for instance, if you take the process from hide to finished leather and compare the value that is added from that finished leather to a pair of women’s handbags, the difference is huge, he added.