When MAN President toured Innoson Industrial Plants in Anambra, Enugu

| December 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

RECENTLY the National President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN), Chief Kola Jamodu, undertook a tour of Innoson industrial plants in Nnewi and Enugu. He used the opportunity also to commiserate with some of the MAN members whose plants were ravaged by flood at the Harbour Industrial Estate in Onitsha, especially Krysoral Company Nigeria Limited and Pokobros West Arica Limited. The MAN President took time off to look into some manufacturing establishments including A-Z Oil and DVC Plastic Limited; to see how they are faring in their enterprise.

Assisted by the Deputy National Vice President, (South East) Dr. Frank Jacobs; Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi States Chapter Chairman of MAN, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, Managing Director of Krysoral Company Limited, Chief Chris Chidume Oranu; Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye of Juhel Nigeria Limited; Chief Jamodu paid a courtesy visit on Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi.

In his remarks during the courtesy visit at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Governor Obi said it was unacceptable that service industries should be making huge profits when their base, which is manufacturing was showing signs of malaise. He argued that economic growth without job creation raises critical questions as to how long the economy could be tolerated. “My take in all this is that we should at least maintain if we cannot improve what we met on the grounds,” he said.

He decried the situation where service industries make huge profits when the base, manufacturing. “Banks,” he added, “make money when manufacturing industries are booming; that is what obtains in every country we want to emulate including Brazil and China”.

Obi noted that if “our service industries continue to do better than manufacturing, then something is faulty; we need to go back to it because manufacturing is the foundation of building any economy”. His words: “Here we have an economy that is booming, one of the highest in the world; but I can tell you, it is not creating jobs because the manufacturing sector is not performing. If you improve the manufacturing sector, then you have growth that will create jobs. And that is critical; because if you don’t create jobs, the growth has a question. For us a government, from day one when we started here, we knew we have no other way to go than to provide good governance. I had to make sure that that path was clear; we adopted MDG, (Millennium Development Goals) as our model. The first goal of MDG is to fight extreme poverty and hunger. And you cannot do that without creating jobs; you can’t create jobs without opening up the place. The only way to make it is to work with your people. I still feel we are not working with them the way we should, we need to improve it”.

The governor disclosed that the roads his government was constructing in Harbour Industrial Lay Out in Onitsha, was not for Ezenwa Plastics but to create jobs adding that he never knew the MD of Krysoral Limited, Chief Oranu, whose plant President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned few months ago. “Somebody told me that there was a man who built a fine industry and I asked Mr. President to commission it,” he explained adding that when critics ask why private establishment instead of his projects, his answer was that he did his projects with public funds. Governor Obi pointed out that the same applied in the cases of Innoson and Juhel, stressing those manufacturers should be encouraged to create job and grow the economy.  He maintained that the only to fight corruption and turn around Nigeria economy is to encourage entrepreneurship maintaining that it cannot be done without supporting manufacturing.

“We cannot continue to finance and support sycophancy, we need to make our country productive so working with MAN is the beginning,” he surmised. The Anambra chief executive said the issue of multiple taxation bothering manufacturers had nothing to do with state or federal governments but gangsters insisting that they must be fought head on. He disclosed that his administration will continue order vehicles from the Innoson Motor Manufacturing plant as a gesture of support adding that such would also be extended to other manufacturers in the state. He assured the manufacturers of his continued assistance declaring that he would append his signature to any mortgage file within 48 hours of coming on his table.

Earlier the National President told Governor Obi and his cabinet members that he was in the state to see some Industries, commiserate with those whose plants were ravaged flood as well as “hold one on one discussion with our members”. While thanking Obi profusely for supporting manufacturers especially at the National Economic Management Team, when issues affecting them come up, Chief Jamodu said “it is not easy to get the authorities to listen, appreciate and respond to the problems of many manufacturing industries”. “But, I am happy to report that Nigerian governments at states and federal levels have come to realize that without manufacturing, there is no way we can solve the many problems of this country. And that number one problem is to reduce the unemployment rate in this country. It starts by putting the right policies in place to allow the existing manufacturing industries sustain their production and expand their capacity. And putting the right policies in place that will bring new manufacturers to come on board so that we curb this unemployment which is the biggest problem contributing to the state of security in the country,” he declared.

At the Innoson Motor manufacturing Plant, Nnewi; the Chairman/ Managing Director, Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma; told the MAN President that unlike other motor assembly plants he imports just the engines but fabricates other completely knocked-down parts from flat sheets adding that most of the vehicles manufactured there are factory fitted air-conditioning system. While recalling with pain the frustrations he received from Custom and Excise Department over a container of motorcycle parts, Chief Chukwuma regretted that the burden of double taxation was having a deleterious effect on his establishment. He showed the MAN President round the various sections of the plant explaining that he ranks among the first indigenous automobile manufacturing plants and the fourth motorcycle assembly plant in the country. However, he disclosed that the helmet section in his Enugu plant had to be shot down following the de-emphasis on motorcycle transport. “From buses and trucks, we now manufacture Sports Utility Vehicles, (SUVs) Buses, Patrol vehicles and pick-up vans,” he added.

The Innoson MD noted that there are many headaches confronting local manufacturers especially in the area of energy and infrastructure but expressed satisfaction with the ongoing efforts to reverse the problems. Chief Jamodu, who marveled at the expertise and ingenuity of the automobile engineers and technicians, disclosed that it was a good development that the present federal government is favourably disposed to partnering with indigenous manufacturers adding that manufacturers should take advantage of the improved governance climate to increase their capacity.  The MAN President outlined that transfer pricing being developed for industries should help to arrest the burden of multiple taxations.

Managing Director of Pokobros West Africa Limited, Chief (Dr.) Paul Okonkwor told Chief Jamodu that the federal government should support states to ensure that the Nigeria economy does not go into coma pointing out that the dredging of the River Niger was not adequately executed. He also appealed to the federal and state governments to look into the plights of flood victims especially industrialists whose businesses have been grounded to a halt saying that jobs of thousands of young people were at stake.

While at the factory of A-Z Oil, Chief Jamodu also informed the Managing Director that the Association has succeeded in the battle about concession and waiver saying that if there was any concession it should also be available to other members in that sector instead of leaving them wallowing in pain. “It depends on your expertise to organize properly at the sectorial level,” he added.

The Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi States Chapter Chairman of MAN, Dr. Obidigbo, explained that the tour has helped to situate the challenges faced by manufacturers before the National President expressing thr hope that the visit would bear positive fruits for his members especially those whose factories were destroyed by the recent flood disaster in the country. In his contributions, the MD of Krysoral, Chief Oranu said his company was embarking on remedial measures to come back fully noting that there are many levies out there which if manufacturers pay increases the overhead. “So we are pleading with government to look at them so that we do not end up losing the few industries that are helping to reduce unemployment rate,” he declared pointing out that since importers are out there struggling with manufacturers, if nothing is done to protect local manufacturers, in no distant time, they would go under.

Commenting on the President’s visit, the MD of Chicason Group, manufacturers of A-Z Oil, Mr. Linus Ilozue, said manufacturers are not well taken care of pointing out MAN can only play advocacy role. “Though it is not responsible but its primary job is to inform the government about situation of manufacturers so that government could take appropriate decisions and remedial measures. MAN knows what the problems are and government falls back on this knowledge to fashion policies”. Ilozue added: “He has gone round, seen the flood victims; beyond just sorry government should come to the rescue of the manufacturers and MAN must take that advocacy very seriously. They lost money and part of their assets, government has to reinstate them by reinstating their assets”.

Culled from :Here

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