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Nigerian manufacturers express skepticism over Naira’s recent appreciation

Manufacturers Association Demands Sustained Stability to Rebuild Confidence in Economy

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has voiced concerns over the recent appreciation of the naira, asserting that it falls short of inspiring confidence among manufacturers in the nation’s economy. MAN President Francis Meshioye emphasized that the current performance of the local currency does not provide the necessary boost for business confidence.

Meshioye urged policymakers to ensure a prolonged period of naira appreciation, aiming to alleviate the forex burden currently faced by manufacturers. He stated, “The trend should be sustained. What everybody is looking for is for the naira to further appreciate to a point where it is bearable for manufacturers and everyone. The temporary appreciation is not enough to give confidence to anybody.”

The Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, echoed these sentiments, expressing high expectations from manufacturers regarding the continued appreciation of the naira. He emphasized that short-term fixes devised by policymakers to address forex scarcity would not definitively resolve the issue.

Ajayi-Kadir highlighted the need for sustained improvement in the naira’s performance against the dollar, advocating for increased local production as a lasting solution. He emphasized, “There is also the need for us to deliberately promote productivity so that we can be competitive in what we produce so we will be able to contribute to the forex stock of the country.”

The General Manager of Royal Foam Products Limited, Ezekiel Akhiromen, underscored the impact of the current exchange rate on manufacturers, stating that about 80% of the materials they purchase require forex. Despite reports of the Central Bank of Nigeria clearing a $10 billion forex backlog, manufacturers stress that the current exchange rate still falls short of expectations for profitability. The apprehension within the manufacturing sector underscores the intricacies and challenges faced by the Nigerian economy.

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