By G9ija

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has announced that its members donated N8 billion in cash and N300 million palliative materials to both Federal and state Governments during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Its President, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, stated this on Thursday at the 48th Annual General Meeting of the association in Lagos.

Ahmed told reporters that indicators revealed that the nation was not immune to the challenges as global manufacturing also experienced inconsistency in production growth, indicating an overall economic slowdown.

This, he explained, resulted in job losses, a decline in consumer demand and a general deterioration in living standard.

“On our part, we donated about N8 billion in cash and are sincerely grateful to our frontline health workers and other service providers for their commitments, sacrifice and service to humanity.

“To this end, I sincerely appreciate members of MAN for their support to the government when it was most needed to provide palliative as a way to cushion hardship experienced by Nigerians and to contain the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Ahmed said the association remained resolute at continuously supporting its members to explore business expansion opportunities to navigate the current challenging times confronting the industry due to COVID-19.

This, he said, were in the areas of intra-trade facilitation, renewable energy and local raw material sourcing among others.

On the current state of the Nigerian economy and the manufacturing sector, Ahmed said the performance of the economy was fragile and slowly sliding into recession.

According to him, the association’s outlook for the first quarter of 2020 found maximum expression in the actual performance of economic indicators. Economic activity in the year, he said, was disrupted by the spiral effects of the pandemic.

Ahmed said that the consequence of this development was that sectoral groups ran short of supplies of raw materials due to disruptions in the global value chain, with many still unable to access forex.

Ahmed lauded government for the initiative toward unifying foreign exchange windows in the country.

He urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure a properly managed transition regime to reduce the effect on the manufacturing sector.