From, Ayo Ojedokun, Lagos.
The Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), had raised alarm on the need to save micro industries from total collapse, warning that more Nigerians would be thrown into the labour market if the environment remains unfriendly for them to do businesses.
According to the President of AMEN, Comrade Prince Saviour Iche, the frustration faced by small scale manufacturers in procuring raw materials for production is enormous.
He said the revival of the nation’s ailing economy lies on manufacturing industry, hence, government should not neglect local manufacturers.
“If the present government truly wishes to revive the economy of the nation, it must encourage local manufacturers because the local manufacturers are the only hope of the nation in terms of employment of labour.
“A lot of businesses have shut down while many others have been forced to cut down their staff strength. We are calling on the government to do something urgently to save micro industries in the country from total extinction. Government should make raw materials duty free to boost local manufacturing. Most local manufacturers cannot access bank loans because banks collect ‘hidden interests,” Comrade Iche Explained.
Iche commended the government for establishing the Bank of Industry and Micro Finance Banks but called for effective monitoring of the activities of the banks to ensure that small scale manufacturers have access to loans, stressing that “economies of countries are driven by micro industries”.
The AMEN boss, who expressed grave concern over the growing habit of betting among Nigerians, particularly the youth, said if nothing is done urgently to arrest the dangerous trend by creating job opportunities, Nigeria may end up producing a consuming generation rather than a productive generation.