As businesses increase efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers in Rivers and Bayelsa States are also working to improve operations while remodeling activities to suit the new normal.
Emi Membere-Otaji, national deputy president, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), urged manufacturers to be innovative and use their activities to provide solutions to challenges.
“Manufacturers need to develop risk management strategy & business continuity plans and activate their crisis management plans, now is the time to show transformational leadership qualities,” Membere-Otaji, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Elshcon Group said.
He urged every business to build a strong online presence and activate all social media strategies to increase visibility noting that bankruptcy is prowling around the business environment.
As a medical expert, he asked that business operators make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory at their workplace, in order to curb the spread of the virus as it still exists.
Michael Pepple, chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Rivers/Bayelsa, in his annual report, listed difficulty in accessing funds as one of the factors hindering industrialization, as interest rate rose to 22 percent in 2020.
Pepple also mentioned difficulty in accessing foreign exchange as another problem because manufacturers have been unable to import raw materials and machines and this has hampered production activities.
“Low patronage of locally-made goods accumulated an unsold stock of over N303.22 billion in the 2nd half of 2020 from N202.16 billion recorded in the corresponding half of 2019, despite how difficult it is to access raw materials,” he said.
He said it is necessary for the country to improve its research and development activities so manufacturers can optimize it for easy availability of raw materials, particularly by coming up with alternative sources of raw materials for local industries.