The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr Frank Jacobs, says Nigeria’s continued importation of goods from China has impacted negatively on domestic manufacturing activities.
Jacobs made the observation in Abuja on Wednesday during a presentation at the China-Africa Summit organised by Africa Today.
He attributed the failure of textile, plastic companies, flour mills and other processing companies in the country to Nigeria’s trade relations with China.
“The massive influx of all sorts of cheap and substandard products point to the fact that Nigeria is fast becoming a dumping ground for Chinese inferior products.
“This development denies Nigerian manufacturers the opportunity of developing their full potential and maximizing their capacity, in the absence of appropriate supportive infrastructure, leading to high cost of production.
“The Nigerian government should encourage more direct investments by Chinese companies in Nigeria in order to reduce the serious trade imbalance and provide more jobs for Nigerians.
“Also, China should be encouraged to set up more production facilities in Nigeria instead of producing in Nigeria and exporting to Nigeria,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr Waheed Olagunju, said Nigeria had built strong bilateral relationship with China, which should be leveraged in the next 20 years to ensure sustainable growth.
“Leverage relationship with China to create economic zones and industrial parks towards enhancing development of local businesses and attracting more Foreign Direct Investment.
“Our relationship with China will speed up the infrastructural development of the country. This is fundamental to our industrialisation goals.
“Also China is the best source of concessional loans and grants in today’s world,’’ he said.
Olagunju said that the bank, on its own part, would leverage on the good relationship and collaborate with registered genuine Chinese equipment machineries manufacturers and suppliers.
He said this would serve its customers and beneficiaries who were interested in starting their own factories in Nigeria just like Dangote and Innoson Motors amongst others.
Dr Bassey Edem, President of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), urged the government to improve on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
He said private sector participation was critical to creating jobs and growing the economy, thus their concern about the provision of basic infrastructure and policies to drive private investments.
“The government must make conscious effort to ensure easy access to finance by the private sector particularly the MSMEs while protecting their various investments.
“It must also partner with the private sector in its agenda to diversify the country’s economy which is expected to lead to business expansion, growth and increased employment,’’ he said. (NAN)