BY ROSEMARY IWUALA
The Nigerian government has been called upon to support local manufacturers as that is the only way to boost the country’s economy.
Paul Odunaiya, managing director of Wemy Industries Limited, a manufacturer and distributor of health products within the Nigerian Fast-Moving Consumer Goods market, made the call in Lagos at the Wemy Industries’ 2022 Distributors’ Conference tagged “Crossing the finishing line”.
Odunaiya noted that despite the economic downturn facing the Nigerian economy, investments within many local industries have been instrumental to financial stability and reduction of poverty in the country.
Speaking on how his company had managed to stay afloat despite the country’s harsh economic environment, he noted that it had been tough but the business had stayed ahead of the curve through discipline, hard work, sacrifice, and giving up equity to get investors, early investments, and good understanding of the exchange rate.
Odunaiya also encouraged the government and stakeholders in the manufacturing sector to focus on human capital investments, adoption of modern machinery, and business innovations to curb importation and reduce pressure on the foreign exchange market.
According to him, the country’s continuous reliance on importation has resulted in the high demand for dollar, which is crippling the economy and hindering the development of local industries.
Dwelling on the rising inflation which had resulted in a hike in the cost of goods, Odunaiya said the impact is less with backward integration and utilisation of local inputs.
“Although we import 80 percent of our raw materials, in the long term, Wemy and other local industries will benefit from inflation because we are constantly reinvesting and using local skills,” he said.
Commenting on the company’s strategy for power generation, the managing director explained that local manufacturers like Wemy Industries had made investments in power solutions such as solar and others to mitigate the effects of poor power supply on production.
“We want to implore the government to support us because we don’t think we are getting the support that we need. If we have the support of the government, this business and company will be a lot bigger. There will be more people patronising local businesses and less importing,” he said.