Manufacturers, under the aeiges of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has threatened that it will shutdown manufacturing activities in the country, if nothing is done to address the soaring cost of energy bedevilling the sector.
Director-General of the association, Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, in a statement made available to newsmen said the manufacturing sector over the years has been battered by numerous challenges which have reduced the number of industries in Nigeria and converted industrial hubs in many parts of the country to warehouses of imported goods and event centres.
The manufacturing body in the statement asked for a policy that would urgently allow companies and airlines to import diesel and aviation fuel respectively from the Republic of Niger and Chad.
“By immediately opening up border posts in that axis for this purpose, the effect of high diesel and aviation fuel prices would be cushioned on the economy.
“There is need to save the remaining manufacturing companies from closing down as a result of challenges arising from the inadequate electricity supply, inaccessible foreign exchange, and a rise in the cost of diesel.
“There were uncertainties and fear of survival of firms of a force majeure over increasing diesel prices by 200 percent.
“Findings showed that diesel, which was sold at N266/litre as of October 2021, has recently increased to above N800/litre, which is above 200 per cent.
“There are fears that the price could climb to N1500 if nothing is done to resolve the crisis, especially in terms of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“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 the 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?’’
“More worrisome is the deafening silence from the public sector as regards the plight of manufacturers,” he said.
The association identified challenges such as a high operating cost environment largely caused by inadequate electricity supply, the high cost of alternative sources, excessive regulation and taxation, as well as the inadequate supply of foreign exchange for the importation of raw materials, spare parts, and machinery that were not locally available as major setbacks.
To remain in business, the manufacturers demanded the development of a National Response and Sustainability Strategy to address challenges emanating from the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
They also demanded consistent support to manufacturing to accelerate the process of recovery from the aftermath of COVID-19 and previous bouts of recession to avert the complete shutdown of factories nationwide with multiplier effects on employment and the economy.
By: Corlins Walter
NTVOA Promotes 24hr-Online Operations On Faulty Vehicles
The National Towing Vehicles Owners Association (NTVOA) has commenced consultation with security agencies and stakeholders in the transport logistics chain system on the best way to respond promptly to rescue articulated vehicles parked along major roads and highways nationwide through digitalisation .
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate association said plans are already afoot to introduce an app designed to respond swiftly to brokendown vehicles in furtherance to ensure free flow of traffic.
NTVOA said it will test-run the app in Lagos when completed due to the predominant and peculiar nature of traffic, noting that the technological device would take the form of “Uber”
In a chat with the National Secretary of NTVOA, Comrade Sylvester Afonughe in Ogun State, he noted that the move would be an all inclusive app through which security agencies will also be alerted in line with the technological innovation .
He said the operation when completed will encourage faster response to vehicles with technical hitches to be evacuated from the roads.
The scribe sad aggressive campaigns and sensitization mechanism would be put in place to enable stakeholders understand how to use the app upon completion.
Afonughe, an engineer and the Business Relationship Manager, Moniepoint, affirmed that: “It looks tasking, no doubt, but that is what we are looking at as a union because we have already commenced consultation for the website which will operate like Uber or O Pay in nature.
He said the union is also resolved to key into the automation system as part of efforts to address human contact and to promote seamless operations in modern day transport technology.
“We are looking at how we can improve on our operations because it is what I single-handedly initiated under the stable of my organization, then the national can take it up from there.
“So many factors are also considered in this project because we are looking at 24 hours online real time operations because we cannot rule out night activities.
“Security is key here so these are the things we are looking at because we need to carry security agencies along because security must not be compromises when we kick start this project.
By; Nkemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
NIWA Provides Waterways Ambulance For Search, Rescue
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has introduced a new ambulance boat to serve the Lagos waters.
Disclosing this in a statement made available to our correspondent in lagos, NIWA said “The decision to introduce the new ambulance was in response to critical empowerment of the search and rescue team in Lagos, and as strategic fulfilment to suggestions made by the cream of maritime media at a recent parley with the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu .
“Dr. Moghalu noted that the new craft fitted with amber lights and two 175 Horse Power engines by Yamaha, with cream colour leather interior, fitted with medical equipment, first aid boxes, communication system and stretchers, will form the fulcrum rapid response to accidents on Lagos waterways.
“Rugged and built to ferry accident victims and those who require immediate medical attention to the nearest hospital and Medical Hold Bay, the ambulance watercraft can travel at controlled timing without fear or anxieties of being buffeted by high impact waves”, it stated.
By: Nkemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
CBN Raises Savings Interest To 4.2%
Bank customers in the country are now to be paid more interest on their savings after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reviewed upward minimum interest payable to 30 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
At its last meeting in July, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN had raised MPR to 14 per cent due to the persistent rise in inflation rate in the country.
The upward review of interest on savings was stated in a circular signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, and issued to all banks dated August 15, 2022.
With the new circular, banks are expected to increase interest rate on savings from 10 per cent of MPR to 30 per cent of MPR with effect from August 1, 2022.
Consequently, bank customers can now earn up to 4.2 per cent, which is 30 per cent of the 14 per cent MPR as against 1.4 per cent, which was 10 per cent of the MPR.
According to The Tide’s source, the circular states in part: “It will be recalled that as part of the efforts to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the minimum interest rates payable on local currency savings deposits from 30 per cent to 10 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
“This was aimed at stimulating growth in the larger economy following the economic slowdown occasioned by the pandemic.
“However, following the return to full normalcy and considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, it has become necessary to effect an upward adjustment of the interest rate payable on local currency savings deposits.
“Accordingly, effective August 1, 2022, the negotiable minimum interest rate on local currency savings deposits shall be 30 per cent of MPR. This supersedes our letter dated September 1, 2020, referenced BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/13/052 on the subject.”
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