* Imo, Abia, must join with CBN, MAN, to get into massive production soon after the crisis
By Sabi Onyenwe, Owerri
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Imo and Abia chapters has proposed ways of saving the economies of the two sister-states after the corona virus era.
Hardship is already on and worse seems to lie ahead. This is why the private sector group shows how things can still be turned around. The only way is to form a collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and launch massive production.
In view of the persisting hard times in the country caused by the dreaded Coronavirus which reared its hydra-headed presence in the country on February 27, 2020, the masses have continued to experience hard times now visible on their faces.
Factories are no longer in operation, educational institutions, commerce, churches, etc have been shut down, even as pharmaceutical firms and beverage companies in operation now are working at far below their installed capacity.
Movements of persons have been restricted, even as traders have closed shops, forcing many to returned to their various villages and kindreds to participate in the on going planting season , despite the fact that in the South east, there is limited land to farm
However, whatever has a beginning must have an end, and in view of this, Jude Eluma, a lawyer and a chemical engineer, who is the current chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria,(MAN), Imo/Abia branch has informed of urgent need for Imo and Abia state governments to enter into a partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the MAN to ensure that there would be massive industrial and commercial activities in the two sister states because the country would get out of the recent shutdown of Commerce.
Eluma, who spoke through the Executive Secretary (ES) of MAN, Imo/ Abia branch, Prince Henry Cyprain told our Correspondent that in the post COVID-19 economic recovery, business would no longer be as usual, saying that there should be proactive measures, and steps needed to be taken to improve the manufacturing enviromental sector of the two sister states and also to improve the friendly business relations.
According to Eluma, “issues of electricity, should be looked into, road infrastructure, security, extortion by policemen an other security agencies at numerous checkpoints do not tell good about our business environment of the two States, he said.
“Even as we are experiencing lock down members of the manufacturers association of Nigeria producing essential goods and services which are on the exemption list of the Federal government are not finding it easy with the security personnel, the police extort N1000 to N2000 from truck drivers conveying the essential goods before they are allowed to pass the check points”, Jude O.C Eluma, MD/CEO ELCHEM limited, said.
He decried the untold hardship the masses are facing, saying that while the masses are suffering and languishing in hunger, and destitute of money, food and other necessaries which keep the body and soul together , he observed that “the citizens are locked down while the pockets of the security agents are booming”.
To resuscitate the economy of the South East, especially economies of Imo and Abia States, after the end of the COVID-19, he said, “the economic recovery of the two states must be fast-tracked by the government through setting up post COVID-19 economic agenda.
He informed of the need for every state to make conscious effort to stay affloat economically amidst the global recession and the nose-dive of the price of crude oil at the international market.
The Chairman suggested that various forms of credit facilities could be made available to manufacturing firms and that the government could attract into the states, single digit loans from the Bank Of Industry(BOI), AFREXIMBANK and CBN and counterpart funding could also be made available by the states governments to make if feasible.
To this he said, there would be positive multiplier affects on the economy because more jobs will be created, those employed would pay tax and there would be security as many people would be less idle.