By Charles Nwaoguji
Acting Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Apapa Branch , Mr. Joe Onyebu said that many businesses are going through very hard times as power supply dropped in recent months. It is estimated that the industry is incurring an added cost running into about million having to power its facilities on generators.
Onyebu, who disclosed this at the 10th edition of Environmental and Safety seminar, held recently in Lagos, noted that the Small and Medium Scale (SMEs) Enterprises appear to be the worst hit by the epileptic power supply, and once they shut down it sets up a ripple effects which does not only mean that jobs are lost, but that creditors from banks to private individuals will also have to share in the loss as getting back their money becomes an impossible task.
He stated that the high cost of running manufacturing plants on generators was one of the reasons most local industries had failed to be competitive and profitable as going concerns.
“Imports of substandard goods, smuggling and high cost of electricity have all combined to wreck havoc on Nigerian manufacturers,” he said.
Commenting on the deplorable roads, he said that the government should pay attention to the deplorable state of roads within the Amuwo Odofin Industrial Axis, Mile 2- Coconut Road, Mile2- Kirikiri road, Coconut to Liverpool road.
He stated that this couple with the near-complete takeover of the roads by tankers/ trailers has made access to the ports and members’ factories near impossible at times.
He called on the government to the repair of roads within the Amuwo Odofin Industrial zone as well as the roads leading to the ports.
On taxation issue, he stated that Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LSEPA) has increased over 150 percent increment of the environmental development levy and petroleum storage permit payable which has affected the manufacturers.
He stated that government should harmonized all taxes and levies payable to governments to make thing easlier for the real sector
He implored the government to re-engineer its policies and programmes towards rapid industrialization instead of the current over-dependence on importation of goods.
“It should be noted that no meaningful progress can made without sustainable industrial production.”
He noted that government will increase its patronage of Nigerian manufactured products to enable the survival of the industrial sector, adding that manufacturing outfits had to shut down their operations due to the current harsh economic realities.
Also speaking at the event, Director Lagos Liasion of National Environment Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Mr. Ayuba Jacob said that there have been cases of poorly produced foods and drinks in an unhygienic environment that finds their way into the markets leading to all kind of diseases and sometimes death, especially amongst children.
He said that protection of the environment is an issue in which the government has assigned higher priority in recent years .
He stated that the facilities in the Food and Beverage sector shouldchannel their resources towards activities that would not compromise the integrity of the environment for the present and future generation.