He told SundayTrust that the Dunlop version of Nigeria was still intact and operational.But not many Nigerians would buy Adebanjo’s position.
Recently, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly expressed concern over the relocation of manufacturing companies.
This was brought to the attention of the House under Matters of Urgent Public Importance by Sanai Agunbiade, chairman, House Committee on Commerce and Industry.
Agunbiade said manufacturing companies in Nigeria were already folding up, to relocate to Ghana and take advantage of the liberal investment incentives there.
According to him, the implication for the state was high unemployment rate and increase in criminal activities.
While attributing the development to constant power outage, he added that “manufacturers in Nigeria were crying over the power situation in the country which is the real bane of the manufacturing sector.
“I think Lagos State Government should call on the federal government to allow us implement the Independent Power Project (IPP) and distribute power to industrial areas, because Lagos would be most affected by this movement of industries to Ghana.”
Contributing to the debate, Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Adeola Olamilekan said it was high time the federal government decentralised Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), because huge funds injected into the body had not yielded desired impact.
The president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Peter Esiele lamented that the relocation of companies to Ghana was a sad situation that would forever impinge on the nation’s development.
He said the relocation was a manifestation that government had no concrete plans to develop infrastructure with a view to bringing more investments into the country.
He said the business environ-ment in the country was in disarray in the sense that many businesses groaned under intense pain to survive.
According to him, it was only companies that had thrown ethics to the dogs that survived “the harsh business environment”.
He said it was amazing that the government that had not deemed it fit to put infrastructure in order imposed heavy taxes on businesses.
The Director General of Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association, Jaiyeola Peters said the Ghana government’s plan to give the relocating companies 15-year tax holidays was a manifestation that the government had created an enabling environment to receive them.
A manufacturer, Ligali Mohammed lamented that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had done little or nothing to boost investment drive in the country.
‘’Obviously, infrastructure is zero-some here and hope of reviving same is just not there. The minister keeps promising that infrastructure would be fixed, bail-out funds would be provided to ailing industries like the textiles, but where are the infrastructure and the bail-out funds?
‘’So, if manufacturing companies decide to go to Ghana, no one should apportion blame on them, for they are in business to make profit. And they are entitled to do their business where they consider safe.”
According to Ligali, government had lost its grip on all sectors wondering how government would achieve the so-called vision 2020.
Painting the sordid picture of power in Lagos recently, the chairman of Ikeja Branch of the MAN, Mr Godwin Oteri said, “Private power generation accounted for 30percent of the cost of production and the inadequacy of supply is majorly responsible for 25.24 percent average capacity utilization.”
Today, the power situation in the country has further plummeted.
The country’s quest to hit the 6000MW by the end of the year remains a super-miracle to those in the know.
The current situation should therefore, be a litmus test for the federal government. Government needs to evolve economic agenda that would boost the investment climate of the country.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had already offered a way out of the nation’s economic doldrums by advising government to concentrate only on revitalization of the power sector instead of the bogus seven-point agenda.
Whether government would listen to Sanusi’s sermon is a matter many are still waiting to see.