Abuja – Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged the Niger Delta militants to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue with the Federal Government on the challenges in the region.
Its President, Mr Frank Jacobs, gave the advice while speaking with State House Correspondents on Friday in Abuja after a visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
According to Jacobs, the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region is sabotaging the country’s economy.
“We are concerned about the challenges in the Niger Delta region where the militants are kind of sabotaging the economy of this country.
“We are using this opportunity to ask them to drop their weapons and for the interest of this country, let us work together and move our country forward.’’
The MAN president advised the Niger Delta avengers to present their challenges to the government with a view to overcoming such challenges.
He said that the association had a meeting with the vice president where issues that affect the manufacturers were discussed and how both the administration and the association could work together in moving the economy forward.
Jacobs also expressed his association’s support for the Federal Government’s agenda to diversify the economy in the light of the happenings in the international oil market.
He said that the association was doing its best to increase its capacity utilisation and working with government to create a favourable environment for its members to perform optimally.
While commending the Federal Government’s efforts at repositioning the economy, Jacobs said a lot of things needed to be done to get out of the woods.
Jacobs stressed the need for government to step up action in the provision of infrastructure such as power, railway and road network.
“We also need something to be done on the cost of funds; a situation where the interest rate is more than 20 per cent does not encourage manufacturing.
“So, we are hoping that the monetary policy would be put in such a way that we find a way to reduce interest rate to a level that is obtainable in other climes at between three per cent and five per cent.’’(NAN)