The Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has pledged the commitment of the House to drive a legislative agenda that will promote the country’s manufacturing sector.
Gbajabiamila made the pledge at a dinner organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to mark the association’s 50th anniversary on Wednesday in Abuja.
Represented by Rep. Aliyu Magaji, the speaker said that a productive manufacturing sector remained the catalyst for the growth of any country’s economy.
He described the place of manufacturing in the development and economic growth of any nation as indisputable, adding that it was a building block upon which developing countries could transform into modern economies.
According to him, the association has played a crucial part in developing and keeping the Nigerian economy going despite the challenges confronting the country.
“From our assumption of office, the Ninth House of Representatives has placed special emphasis on the economy and how the legislature can help contribute to its development.
“Recognising that we were in office at a time of rapid change in our country and the world, we set out for ourselves some clear targets which we codified in our legislative agenda.
“In that document, we set out to, among other things, promote individual aspiration, provide public services and infrastructure and finally, support business, innovation and private enterprise,’’ Gbajabiamila said.
He pointed out that the agenda had crystallised into a return to the January–December budget cycle and implementation of the budget from January.
“We have also seen to the repeal and re-enactment of the Companies & Allied Matters Act, 2020, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act, 2019 and the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, 1993 (Amendment) Act, 2019.
“Also the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), now an Act of the Parliament, which is designed to transform the oil and gas operations and investment landscape in the country, will also have a positive effect on the Nigerian economy,’’ Gbajabiamila said.
Earlier, the President of MAN, Mr Mansur Ahmed, said that the revival of the manufacturing sector was critical in moving Nigeria forward.
Ahmed, who solicited more attention and support from governments and MAN partners, underscored the importance of policies that would speed up the industrialisation of the economy.
According to him, there is need for policies that will inspire the confidence of investors and ensure that the manufacturing sector becomes more competitive.
He, however, expressed concern that MAN was not yet where it ought to be.
“MAN has made tremendous successes since inception and no doubt we have surmounted many challenges, but with determination and commitment we will be among those leading manufacturing markets in the next 10 years.
“No doubt, we need to know that it is manufacturing that can help us create more jobs, enhance the capacity of Nigerians and bring a lot of benefits vital to the economy of the nation, ’’Ahmed said.
Mr Dike Chukwumerije, a spoken word and performance poetry artist, said that the resilience demonstrated by Nigerians contributed immeasurably to the growth of the manufacturing sector.
Chwukwumerije said that while the country was endowed, “the major problem creating the gap between us and the developed nations is governance’.
According to him, we need a generation of leaders who are committed to promoting public service for the citizens.
“Leaders who are striving to see local companies competing with those in the developed countries,’’ he said.