Manufacturing Sector Created Over 1.5 Million Jobs in 2013

The reports coming from the Nigerian manufacturing sector is really good, if the trend continues it means more job opportunities! According to reports from Businessday The manufacturing sector has continued to show strong positives, having added 1.584 million jobs in 2013.

Out of the total employment created within the year, the non-metallic products sector, comprising cement, glass, ceramics and chalk makers, generated a total of 1.183 million jobs, thus making the contribution of the group 74.6 percent of the total.

The new jobs created in 2013 represent 48 percent upgrade from 1.071 million estimated totals for 2012, data from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) shows.

“The increase has been as a result of improved performance in production output and the corresponding increase in the rate of capacity utilisation,” says MAN.

New members in the manufacturing sector likewise engaged fresh workers, while some firms that had not fully started operations engaged few personnel in the course of putting some skeletal services on ground, according to MAN.

Apart from the non-metallic products sector, which ramped up employment to 1.183 million in 2013 as against the 155,423 figure of 2012, the food, beverages and tobacco sector generated 48,532 jobs by the end of 2013.

Similarly, within the year under review, the textiles, apparels and footwear sector added 53,955 workers, as against the 29,129 additional jobs the sector recorded by end of 2012.

The captive wood and wood products sector added only 3,953 jobs within the year, even though it reported a total addition of 50,332 jobs in the preceding year.

Furthermore, the pulp, paper, printing and publishing sector had additional 52,844 workers by end of 2013 as against 41,998 new jobs created in the whole of 2012. The chemical and pharmaceutical industry, on its part, created 28,415 jobs by the end of the year, as against the reported 99,336 jobs in 2012, says MAN.

Also, the domestic/industrial plastic and rubber sector had additional 28,161 workers, as against 160,326 jobs added in 2012, while the electrical and electronics sector hiked employment by 27,642 as against 114,510 jobs created in the whole of 2012.

The basic metal, iron and steel sector ramped up employment to 130,582 by year-end 2013 as against 89,139 recorded in 2012, whereas the motor vehicle and miscellaneous assembly sector added 26,997 jobs in 2013 in contrast to 24,718 reported in 2012.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, had in February this year implored manufacturers to create more jobs with the Federal Government‘s waivers. The cement industry seems to have largely responded to this call, given the level of expansion taking place among manufacturers in the sector which warrants engagement of a large number of workers.

In 2013, Lafarge WAPCO announced plans to double its 4.5 million metric tonnes (MT) capacity, while the United Cement Company of Nigeria (UniCem) had also approved a second line project to increase capacity to 5 million MT, from its current 2.5 million MT. Ashaka Cement, likewise, is investing N100 billion to increase capacity to 4 million MT from its current one million MT.

With the recent announcement of the Lafarge Africa deal, a combined capacity of 12 million MT is already guaranteed, while an additional 5.5 million is in the offing. Dangote Cement’s 20 million MT capacity is also set to reach 29 million MT by the end of the year.

“We are putting another 9 million tonnes into the market this year,” said Devakumar V.G Edwin, group managing director/chief executive officer, Dangote Cement (DangCem) plc, in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay.

“If I am going to put an additional 6 million, it takes me to 35 million,” he said.

But to add more jobs, stakeholders say cost of borrowing should be reduced to single-digit rates, while multifarious taxes must be cut down.

Similarly, electricity distribution and regulation must improve, while waivers should be granted on sectoral basis rather than to individual manufacturers, they say.

“We have to re-instate the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) to enable manufacturers engage more workers and compete effectively,” said Tunde Oyelola, chairman, MAN Export Group.

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