The President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Frank Jacobs, has called on the Federal Government to re-introduce Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme to salvage the manufacturing sector. Jacobs made the call in an interview in Abuja.
He recalled that the scheme was earlier introduced to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on oil both as a source of income and foreign exchange earnings.
He said that recipients of the export grant held an instrument called Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCC) which they used in the payment of import and excise duties.
Jacobs said that the suspension of the NDCC had affected export of manufactured goods which had drastically reduced the volume of exports.
According to him, the inability of Nigerian exporters to meet delivery targets has destroyed the confidence built over the years by overseas importers of Nigerian products.
Jacobs said that MAN had severally met with the Vice President and the Minister of Trade, Commerce and Investment on the need to re-introduce EEG scheme to boost the manufacturing sector.
He added the association also visited the Minister of Finance where she assured that MAN “will be hearing from government soon but till now nothing has been done.
“We have made it clear to the government to re-introduce EGG and pay the outstanding NDCC to save many companies that are folding up. Some have folded up already. The Vice President has promised us that something will come up soon but we do not know how soon it will be, if nothing is done fast many companies are still going to fold up; we are hoping that the government that soon do something positive with regard to the NDCC,” Jacobs said.
He said that the exchange rate situation in the country had been difficult for business transactions, adding that MAN would soon address Nigerians on the state of the manufacturing sector. Jacobs said that the introduction of EEG scheme was also useful for the diversification of Nigeria’s revenue base.
According to him,the policy recorded a major success with the volume of non-oil exports increasing from 700 million dollars in 2005 to 2.9 billion dollars in 2013.
“It also led to an increase in value chain expansion in terms of processing manufacturing capabilities which resulted in significant new investments and job creation in the manufacturing sector,” he said.
The scheme was suspended by the Federal Government in 2014.