Lagos State Government has described innovative finance options as crucial to the State and the nation’s goal to achieve sustainable industrial growth and position manufacturers to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Adetutu Ososanya, FCA, made the remarks at the 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Apapa Branch held on Tuesday at Ikeja, themed: “Financing Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector for Economic Growth”, with focus on “Financing Options for Competitiveness of Nigeria Under AfCFTA”.
According to Ososanya, indigenous manufacturers can attain and maintain competitiveness under AfCFTA if we foster an environment that facilitates seamless access to financing options tailored to their unique needs.
Her words: “With the advent of AfCFTA, Nigeria stands at the threshold of unprecedented opportunities. AfCFTA is a game-changer, providing us with a broader platform to expand our reach and establish ourselves as a formidable force in the global market. However, to harness the full potential of this historic trade agreement, we must be equipped with robust financing options that will enhance the competitiveness of our manufacturers”.
“We must address the crucial issue of financing and equip our manufacturers with the necessary resources to thrive on this larger stage because financing is the lifeblood of any thriving manufacturing industry. It fuels innovation, boosts production capabilities, and enables businesses to stay ahead in the dynamic global market”, she added.
While assuring MAN that the administration of Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu shall continue to improve the business environment through the provision and application of factors that are within its means, Ososanya commended the tenacity and sacrifices of members of the Association in the face of the challenging operating environment.
She also commended the leadership for sustaining the organisation of the event which she described as a platform for exploring issues that affect manufacturers and for engaging stakeholders, particularly the government on business-friendly policy issues that would favour the real sector.
National President of MAN, Otunba Francis Meshioye, in commending Lagos State Government for its investment-friendly policies and recognition always given to the Association, called for more support for the manufacturing sector and urged the Branch to sustain its engagement with government in the interest of members.
Meshioye said further in the address read on his behalf by the Vice President, Lagos Zone of MAN, Prince Phillip Oba-Okojie, that MAN will support the Sanwo-Olu administration and continues its contribution to the industrial growth of the State.
The Guest Lecturer and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan, who was represented by Dr. Isa Omabo, stated that accessing finance can be very difficult and advised manufacturers to embrace open innovation, factoring, digitisation, capacity building and co-creating with other businesses to make their business bankable.
Immediate Past Chairman, MAN Apapa Branch, Engr. Frank Onyebu affirmed that the Branch will always support and collaborate with the State, just as he requested the Government to assist in mitigating the challenges confronting manufacturers in Lagos State.
Awards for commitment, contribution and support to the growth of the manufacturing sector were presented to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, FCA.