About ₦300 billion has so far been disbursed to 76 manufacturing companies out of the ₦1trillion set aside in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus last April to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this on Friday at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the localization of manufacturing of Oral B products by Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Nigeria the facility was a strategic move by the apex bank to facilitate the recovery of the Nigerian economy from the impact of the pandemic.
Emefiele who said the partnership represented a new $35million investment in the country, acknowledged the manufacturing industry in Nigeria as a key focus of the efforts by the monetary and fiscal authorities to drive the recovery of the Nigerian economy through import substitution.
Although the economy recorded a 0.11 percent gross in domestic growth (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2020, the CBN Governor said the growth remained fragile, requiring continued investment support to grow the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
Reviewing the role of the monetary authorities in the effort to cushion the pressures on key sectors of the economy as a result of the pandemic, Emefiele said the CBN was moved to set up the N1 trillion facilities in April 2020 for the growth and expansion of manufacturing firms in the country.
“So far, close to N300billion has been disbursed to 76 manufacturing firms, which would boost local manufacturing across critical sectors over the next few years,” the CBN governor said.
“Our efforts have aided the recovery of the manufacturing sector as reflected in the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which shows that the index on manufacturing activities rose from a low of 42.4 points in May 2020 to 48.7 points in February 2021,” he added.
Given Nigeria’s comparative and competitive advantages, the CBN governor maintained that it would be smart for multinationals to invest in domesticating their manufactured production lines in the country during the pandemic.
“Not only do they (multinationals) have access to our large market, Nigeria can also serve as a base for them to export goods to other markets in Africa.
“Our efforts at putting in policy measures to encourage improved production of made-in-Nigeria goods is driven out of the need to create jobs and wealth for our growing population.
“The impact of a manufacturing plant also goes beyond its immediate environment, as it also enables the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that work to meet the needs of the manufacturing plants and the staff,” the CBN governor said.
The CBN Governor said the apex bank has resolved to encourage firms willing to invest in the Nigerian manufacturing sector to do so in order to grow the economy.
The Managing Director of P&G Nigeria, Adil Farhat and the Managing Director of Colori Cosmetics Nigeria, David Feng commended the CBN for championing the localization initiative.
Farhat assured that P&G would continue to partner with the Nigerian government as the company increases its economic and social footprint, in support of the diversification and localization objectives of the Nigerian economy.
On his part, Feng said the company aimed at working with local businesses to provide a healthier lifestyle for the Nigerian population.
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