The federal government said it had started cutting the cost of gas for power generation across the country as part of efforts to boost the manufacturing sector.
Indeed, industry players have identified cost competitiveness as a major challenge in the manufacturing sector, much of which can be attributed to electricity.
This revelation was made by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, during a roundtable on the industrialization of Africa organized by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
Adebayo said Africa contributes less than 2% of international trade, pushing it to the bottom of the global value chain.
He said this has resulted in lower export volumes, lost job opportunities and reduced foreign exchange for real sector players on the continent.
What the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment says
Adebayo stressed that all stakeholders must work together to develop measures to improve the cost competitiveness of the manufacturing sector so that Nigerian industries lead the transformation of the country and the African economy.
The minister said, “For example, we are working with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to reduce the cost of gas which is essential to the production of the energy sector. This is a factor that can improve the cost competitiveness of the sector.
“Another way for Nigerian industries to position themselves for Africa’s economic transformation is to align with the country’s industrialization agenda. “For our part, we are accelerating the creation of world-class special economic zones in Lagos, Abia and Kano, among others, which will drive our industrialization program by increasing the concentration of high-quality infrastructure and offering tax incentives to producers in the sector. “
The minister urged manufacturers to take advantage of the special economic zones and the wider 1.3 billion market provided by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. He said the potential of AfCFTA can only be achieved through investments led by the private sector.
What you should know
The epileptic electricity supply in the country has been attributed mainly to gas constraints that affect electricity production.
Adequate power supply is considered to be one of the essential requirements for production growth in manufacturing sector and being able to get power supply at lower cost will really play a huge role in the growth of various industries and businesses.