Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Apapa branch, Engr. Frank Onyebu, said that the persistent double-digit inflation rate in the economy was occasioned by an upsurge in exchange rates, Onyebu said this during the association’s general meeting in Lagos, explaining that foreign exchange suddenly became very scarce with most manufacturers unable to procure vital raw materials.
Onyebu said, “Exchange rate shot up, driving inflation to double digits. At the same time, consumer demands dropped. To make matters worse, the government, following similar reactions from governments around the world, imposed a lockdown that affected most of the industrial regions of the country”. Onyebu said that a lot of the companies that were struggling pre-pandemic faced the flight for survival and also lay off staff to remain afloat, and so compounded the already insecure unemployment situation. He said that economic activities within their area of operations were hampered by decaying and complete absence of infrastructure such as: epileptic power supply, deteriorating roads, inefficient port operations, amongst others.
He said: “The economic environment of the nation became hostile to business even before the coronavirus pandemic. The manufacturing sector was particularly badly hit because of the familiar, oft-repeated challenges of infrastructural deficiency and other structural problems. “These challenges became more acute with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Oil price volatility, occasioned by the sharp decline in demand following a global lockdown that resulted from the pandemic, only compounded the situation. “Nigeria, being a mono-product economy with almost complete dependency on crude oil for its foreign exchange earnings, was clearly in trouble.
Vanguard, December 25 2020
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