President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, on Tuesday lamented that a paucity of energy was negatively affecting the growth of Nigerian industries.
Adesina made the comment while speaking at a meeting organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja.
“Today, no business can survive in Nigeria without generators,” Adesina said. “Consequently, the abnormal has become normal.
“Unless Nigeria decisively tackles its energy deficiency and reliability, its industries will always remain uncompetitive.”
Also speaking at the meeting was the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala noted that trade was a key part in the global economy recovery and called for more support for micro, small and medium enterprises.
“Poor countries need access to bigger markets to grow rapidly,” she said. “With trade projected to grow at 10.8 percent this year, more than twice as fast as GDP, external demand will far outpace domestic demand for many countries, especially those on the wrong end of the k-shaped recovery.
“For Manufacturers, trade is also important because they need better access to imports as well as competitive logistics and other services critical to international competitiveness.
“Digital is very important here, especially for young Africans and the businesses they create; many businesses have been able to weather the pandemic because they were able to access the Internet and sell online.
“We should work harder, first to understand the barriers facing micro, medium and small enterprises in global trade and then to lower these barriers.
“At the WTO, different groups of members are seeking to do just that. One group is working on an e-commerce agreement. Another is working on empowering MSMEs to trade; and a third is working on lowering barriers facing women in global economic trade.”