Skye Bank Plc has called for improved investments in the manufacturing, agriculture and extractive industries for the success of the diversification programme of the government.
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank Plc, Timothy Oguntayo, stated this at a roundtable session on the ‘Manufacturing Outlook for 2016’, organised by Dr. Biodun Adedipe-led BAA Associates in Lagos on Wednesday.
According to him, the three identified sectors are critical for the success of the economic diversification agenda of the current government in view of the dwindling oil prices, low GDP growth, and rising unemployment in the country.
“The manufacturing sector contributed 10 per cent of GDP before the oil boom of 1970s but lamented Nigeria’s overdependence on oil export and earnings from the 1990s to date,” he said.
Oguntayo said overdependence on oil has resulted in the neglect of the manufacturing sector; just as low investment in public goods and infrastructure led to the decline in manufacturing activities.
The lead Banker recommended the expansion of public infrastructure like road, electricity, among others to promote manufacturing.
In addition, he advised manufacturers to access the earmarked N200 billion Central Bank of Nigeria and N200 billion Bank of Industry’s intervention funds to boost their operations.
He noted that commercial banks were not structured to provide long-term funding but bridge finance, he said the Bank of Industry and NEXIM Bank should be strengthened to provide long-term funding for manufacturers.