05 September 2016, Lagos – Amid rising inflation across all sectors of the nation’s economy due to harsh economic climate currently facing the country, the Managing Director, Mallinson and Partners Limited, a Lagos-based building materials manufacturing company, Mr. Afam Mallinson Ukatu, has decried government’s policy on gas consumption, which requires local manufacturers to pay in US dollars for gas supply.
He lamented that this has caused over 25 per cent increase in the cost of locally produced building materials. Mallinson and Partners are producers of range of floor tiles and plastics.
According to Ukatu, who disclosed that the policy has led to reduction in production capacity of the country’s building/construction industry, said the policy has not allowed building materials manufacturers in Nigeria to have competitive edge over imported building materials into the country.
Speaking at the opening of the firm’s Building Mart, a subsidiary of Mallinson and a one stop shop for building materials and accessories, Ukatu also decried the nation’s energy crisis caused by pipeline vandalism, as this has forced many manufacturing firms to operate below production capacity.
The managing director who said the vision of the mart is to have a one-stop shop, where people can purchase quality building materials at competitive price, pointed out that the country may not attain its dream of manufacturing her local building materials,if the issues of energy, gas and access to funds with lower interest rates are not addressed.
According to him, Nigerians are coming up with local manufacturing of building materials with help of foreigners but that should not be the case, insisting that Nigeria has what it takes to manufacture for her local consumption.
Mallinson boss maintained that Nigeria should have goods manufactured in Nigeria by Nigerians and not goods manufactured in Nigeria by Indians, adding that this is what the manufacturers are trying to correct now. “It happened in China, where Taiwanese manufactured goods in China. Today, it is goods made in China by Chinese. That is what we want in Nigeria”, he noted.
Singling out power as the major problem of the nation’s manufacturing sub-sector, Ukatu stated that people don’t want to invest in construction and manufacturing because of epileptic power supply and unfavourable government’s policies. He therefore called on government to do more to encourage local manufacturers by creating a parallel interest rate for manufacturers different from that of importers since the Bank of Industry BoI, cannot do it all.