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I will address forex supply to manufacturers for imports – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that the Federal Government will take appropriate measures to improve access to foreign exchange for the importation of raw materials and machines that are not available locally.

Buhari gave the assurance to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Wednesday while hosting the body’s leadership in Abuja.

He spoke in response to MAN’s requests on making the manufacturing sector contribute more to the Nigerian economy.

Buhari told the Mansur Ahmed-led executives of MAN that the relevant Ministry would revisit their concerns on the increase in excise duties on the identified products and other tariff-related matters.

On the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the President said Nigeria would fast track the process of setting up the Designated Competent Authority that will superintend the administration of Rules of Origin and Commission as well as the automation for issuance of electronic Certificate of Origin.

He added that the Federal Government would also ensure that relevant structured platforms are established for monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the Ease of Doing Business and improved Government patronage of made in Nigeria products.

A statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying: ‘‘Our strategic plan to boost manufacturing activities in the country is on course.

‘‘We will continue to improve the patronage of locally made goods, bridge the gap between skills required by industry and those provided by our tertiary institutions and ensure seamless access to long term finance for our Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

‘‘We recognize that MAN remains a key stakeholder in this journey and we will continue our engagement with you.”

Affirming his belief that a private sector-led economy is the way to create jobs in the country, Buhari urged the leadership of MAN to continue to encourage manufacturers that the government recognizes the resilience of their members and other private sector organisations in promoting a virile manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

‘‘I beseech you to continue to support the government in our quest to provide the appropriate environment that will attract the necessary investment both domestic and foreign for the upliftment of the nation’s economy,’’ he said.