The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday urged the National Assembly to speedily pass the 2019 budget to stimulate economic growth in the face of mounting unsold inventories recorded in 2018.
Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director General of the association, made the appeal in an interview with journalists in Lagos.
Ajayi-Kadir said the call became necessary because the delay in the passage of 2018 budget slowed the national output growth from 1.95 per cent in the first quarter to 1.81 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.
“As the budget stands, the association opines that a lot of work still needs to be done while hoping that it will be passed with dispatch.
“From the trends associated with the Nigerian budget cycle, the 2019 budget proposal might suffer late passage.
“The resultant negative effects on the overall economic environment in the country might be significant for an economy whose current growth rate is still fragile.
“Consequently, for the budget to be effective there is the need to sustain expansionary tendency backed with sufficient monetary and fiscal policies.
“We advise that the National Assembly should speed up the passage of the 2019 budget so that it can be implemented and funds injected into the system for use,” he said.
Mr Israel Osidipe, Director in the Economics and Statistics of MAN, also advised the government to balance its election programmes with better management of the economy.
Osidipe urged the government to resolve the supply constraints facing the manufacturing sector and sustain all economic growth policies.
“As you know it takes time for the legislature to do a thorough job on the budget and moreover this is the season of election.
“In addition, given the poor state of economic infrastructure, we expect the government to allocate significant amount for capital expenditure, while moderating the recurrent expenditure.
“Unfortunately, records have shown that more attention is currently on electioneering activities and there is the fear that adequate attention may not be given to economic management.
“If you observe, since the economy exited recession in 2017, it has maintained positive but fragile growth, evidenced by the 1.81 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2018.
“Critical to manufacturers are improved FX stability, lower interest and inflation rates,” he said.
Osidipe called for adequate electricity supply, significant reduction in the cost of doing business, tackling the menace of smuggling, counterfeiting of made-in-Nigeria products and quick cargo clearance time.