The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has once again called on the private sector to key into his administration’s adopt-a-school and primary-health care-center programme.
According to Abiodun, “The corporate sector must allow the policy to reflect in their corporate social responsibility – don’t just pocket all those profits, share some of it with us.”
The governor made this call in Abeokuta during the 37th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria.
The theme of AGM is ‘A Manufacturers Dilemma – Building and Sustaining Factories Profitably.”
Abiodun noted that it was imperative that the private sector join hands with government at all levels as development of the state and the country as a whole can only be achieved through cooperation.
While noting that his administration had begun the rehabilitation of taxes and levies to eliminate multiplicity, the governor said that the tax rehabilitation would ensure the ease of self assessment and payment in the state.
He assured that his administration would continue to do all it can to make the state attractive for investors through provision of infrastructures.
He further urged them to make it a point of duty to always pay their taxes, as the state government can only continue to provide purposeful infrastructure through the payment of taxes.
While charging MAN to find a way to balance the bottom line so that they can continue to make profit, the governor was of the opinion that there must be joint and concerted drive by all stakeholders towards sustaining the current positive economic trend.
“The government cannot do it alone; we have various programmes that you can support us in. I want to call on the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria to join hands with us, adopt a school, adopt a primary health care center, let it reflect in your corporate social responsibility, don’t just pocket all those profit, share some of it with us.
“We will continue to keep our promises. Also pay your taxes, it is those taxes that allow us to provide purposeful infrastructure for you.
“As private investors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers, you must find a way to balance the bottom line so that you can continue to make profit.
“I must say that there must be a joint and concerted drive by all stakeholders towards sustaining the current positive economic trend, one of such ways is to strengthen our MSMEs that compliment the manufacturing sector,” Abiodun stated.
The governor who noted that the Agro Cargo Airport which is one of the required transport infrastructure to further complement the growth and development of the manufacturing sector in the state would be commissioned by the end of the year, also informed the association that his administration would soon be flagging off the construction of the Olokola Deep Sea Port which according to him would complement the Apapa and Lekki Ports.
He further disclosed that his administration was putting in place investment-friendly measures to improve the ease of doing business in the state, adding that his administration has been able to establish the Ogun State Enterprise Development Agency, Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency, Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS) among others.
In his remarks, the President, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria; Engr. Mansur Ahmed, who was represented by the Director General of the association; Segun Ajayi Quadri, while acknowledging the initiative of the governor in creating the Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS), said that the portal has allowed businesses and corporate organisations to fulfill their financial obligations.
Ahmed, while also commending the governor for the current reconstruction work on various roads across the state, called for an increase in the speed of work on the Atan-Agbara, Sango-Ogijo, Sango-Ota and Ewekoro roads.
The national president also requested that the governor carry out a system check on the regulatory functions of certain agencies and organs of government that negatively impact manufacturing and discourage would-be investors.
He further asked the state government to facilitate the harmonisation of national and state environmental laws to reduce the cost of compliance on members, just as he called for harmonisation of taxes, especially local government and road related levies to aid ease of compliance of members.
While calling on the Federal Government to prioritize allocation of Forex to the manufacturing sector, Ahmed noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria should direct commercial banks to transparently and diligently process Forex application by manufacturers in the country.
Delivering a paper on the theme of the AGM, the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, represented by Prof. Olumide Ayodele, who called for the implementation of cost control measures like utility and telephone cost, also charged manufacturers to explore local sources of raw materials and machinery.
Akabueze, while noting that to improve the sustainability of manufacturing operation, manufacturers must fully embrace renewable energy, also said that the association should also engage relevant agencies on inconsistent policies.