Why manufacturers are curtailing operations in Nigeria – Akpovie

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Godwin Akpovie, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Delta Special Economic Zone, says financial insecurity and multiple taxation are major challenges facing manufacturing sector in the country.

Akpovie disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

He was reacting to a development where some manufacturing companies operating in Nigeria, “the Africa’s most populous country’’ are closing down or relocating their operations.

“When you bring in your money and in just a short while it depreciates due to the value of our currency, it means your money is not secured.

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“Insecurity is not just about guns and weapons but how secure the funds of investors that come into the country are.

‘“No businessman wants to put his money where he is unsure of the returns on investment.

“So, those in charge of our monetary policy should urgently look towards this direction and proffer solutions,’’ he said.

Akpovie said the challenge of multiple taxation which occurred mostly by lack of coordination by the three levels of government should be tackled as it was hindering growth of small businesses.

According to the CEO, another major bane of the manufacturing sector in the country is cyber insecurity and the unwillingness of manufacturers to embrace technology.

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“To secure your money and investments, you must encourage technology, as an investor.

“By this, you must dedicate some of your money for training and retraining; you must be willing to provide the right skills for your members of staff,’’ he said.

Akpovie dispelled the notion by many that, embracing technology will create unemployment.

According to him, the use of technology would lead to the discovery of many other neglected areas that needed human interference which would in turn create more jobs.

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“Technology is the way to go and should be encouraged as it will not only ease business but also create more jobs.

“Some advanced countries have already started using robots and AI to carry out most functions, and we in Nigeria are very far from that level.

“So I encourage the various stakeholders to look in that direction, invest in technology, invest in training their employees, so they can retrain other workers,’’ he said.

The CEO urged the government to create an enabling environment for small business owners to thrive while urging Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria products.

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