This statement in itself “How weakening currency wanes manufacturers competitiveness” is an oxymoron.
Assembling CKD’s is not manufacturing and entities engaged in this should not have access to any benefit allocated for manufacturers. The Buhari administration and indeed any future administration must hold the line on who can be called a manufacturer and get the support they need to thrive. Nigeria cannot afford the to subsidize foreign manufacturers with it’s hard earned forex.
That said, it is highly disruptive to put these policies in place without preplanning and adequate notice given to these assembly plants to source locally. A weak currency is typically good for the export manufacturers as the products become comparatively cheaper abroad but if the business is strictly an assembly of CKD’s, the benefits of local manufacture is lost.
Buhari administration can provide an out for these group of businesses
1. Require a specific minimum percentage of their product must the exported to pay for their forex requirements. Nigeria cannot afford to keep cuddling foreign manufacturers masquerading as local manufacturers.
2. A product cannot be labeled Made in Nigeria without at least 50% local content to start with and can gradually be raised to 85% over 25yrs, excluding labor.
3. The administration must do everything within its ability to help open up foreign markets for Nigeria value added good and products. The Buhari administration must take advantage of the business opportunities afforded by ECOWAS and must active encourage expansion and greater integration of the zone business activities. That is a task the Buhari admin must must demand from all foreign missions. Their job as liaisons for Nigerians and their businesses must be taken seriously. They are not just cultural attaches, they are salespersons for Nigerians and Nigerian businesses, time the act like it. Maintaining these missions take a considerable investment in foreign exchange and we should therefore make sure the investments are worth it.
God Bless Nigeria.