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Nigeria lost 1.9 million manufacturing jobs in seven years – MAN

 

Nigeria lost about 1.9 million jobs in the manufacturing industry between 2002 and 2009 due to the harsh operating environment in the country, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has said.

The Director-General of the association, Mr. Jide Mike, said on Wednesday that the industry lost more than 1.8 million jobs between 2002 and 2008.

He spoke while delivering a paper on, “Challenges and Opportunities of Manufacturing Investments in Nigeria,” at the 10th Biennial Techno-Exposition, organised by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, in Abuja.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that a total of 834 manufacturing companies shut shop in 2009, quoting a survey carried out by MAN as part of its membership operational audit in January 2010.

This, according to an analyst and former United Nations Development Programme’s top economist, Dr. Warea Thomas, translated into a loss of another 83,400 jobs in 2009.

The 2009 figures, therefore, brings the total jobs lost in the manufacturing sector between 2002 and 2009 to about 1.9 million.

Thomas said, “The fact is that when a company stops operation, the workers there become the frontline victims. If 834 firms were officially given by MAN to have shut shop in 2009, it is easy to speculate that not less than 83,400 jobs were lost in that year alone, if we assume that they were all medium-size manufacturing firms, with each having 100 workers.”

About half of the remaining operating firms have also been classified as “ailing,” a situation that poses a great threat to the survival of manufacturing in the country in the next few years.

Mike, however, also disclosed that the nation needed to invest about $15bn per annum in order to develop the infrastructure required to achieve the goal of making Nigeria one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.

He added that the country was importing goods worth about N4.6tn every year, based on the import bill for 2009.

The MAN boss said, “A survey of about 300 manufacturing companies carried out by MAN on direct employment generation from the manufacturing sector showed that in 2001 alone, 2,752,832 people were employed by the Nigerian manufacturing sector.

“In 2002, the figure rose to 2,841,083. This figure reduced to 1,026,305 in 2008 as a result of some challenges inhibiting its growth. Of all kinds of economic activities, the manufacturing activity is reputed to have the highest multiplier effect on indirect employment generation, both in the backward and forward integration process along the supply chain.”

Mike said the poverty level in the country had worsened because of the deteriorating state of manufacturing as exhibited in the sharp reduction of job opportunities, high cost of living, poor infrastructure and bad governance.

“In the heyday of manufacturing in Nigeria (1978–1980), the national poverty level was 28.17 per cent. With the declining roles of manufacturing, the poverty level gets increasing and it got to a peak of 70.9 per cent in 2006,” he said.

Mike noted that huge infrastructural challenges existed in the area of public power supply, road rehabilitation and construction; railway modernisation and expansion; inland waterways development and construction of new seaports.

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