The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has asked the federal government to issue its members licenses to import diesel from the Republic of Niger and Chad, Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, in order to avert the avoidable monumental paralysis of manufacturing activities that could arise from total shut down of production operations.
The demand by the manufacturers follows the recent astronomical increase in the price of diesel with negative consequences for the manufacturing sector and the larger economy.
The demand by the manufacturers is contained in a press statement issued by the Director-General of MAN, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, on Friday.
The MAN also tasked the government to develop a response strategy to address challenges emanating from the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The press release was titled ‘The Position of MAN on the Recent Increase in the Price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO)’, popularly called diesel, which MAN stated that its price went up by over 200%.
Manufacturers Urge FG To Grant Them Licenses To Import Diesel From Niger And Chad
The MAN in the statement said, “In light of the gravity of the precarious situation that we have found ourselves as a nation and the looming dangers ahead, the expectations of manufacturers in Nigeria are as follows: that government should urgently allow manufacturers and independent petroleum products marketing companies to also import AGO from the Republic of Niger and Chad by immediately opening up border posts in that axis in order to cushion the effect of the supply gap driven high cost of AGO.”
The association also asked the government, ‘’To issue licenses to manufacturing concerns and operators in the aviation industry to import diesel and aviation fuel directly to avert the avoidable monumental paralysis of manufacturing activities arising from total shut down of production operations and movement of persons for business activities.”
Ajayi-Kadir pointed out that Nigerian manufacturers are worried about the implications of the over 200% increase in the price of diesel on the Nigerian economy and the manufacturing sector.
He said, “More worrisome is the deafening silence from the public sector as regards the plight of manufacturers. Four obvious questions that readily come to mind that are seriously begging for answers are: What can we do as a nation to strengthen our economic absorbers from external shocks?
Should manufacturing companies that are already battered with multiple taxes, poor access to foreign exchange and now over 200 per cent increase in price of diesel be advised to shut down operations? Should we fold our arms and allow the economy to slip into the valley of recession again? Is the nation well equipped to manage the resulting explosive inflation and unemployment rates?”
MAN also stressed on the need for the government to address the issue of constant collapse of the national grid, which is causing acute electricity shortage in the country, especially for manufacturers, adding that government should remove VAT on diesel as part of the immediate incentive to help reduce its price and expedite action in reactivating or privatising the public refineries in the country.