The federal government has commended the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) for providing seven million jobs and contributing about $40 billion to national output.

It also assured that the future of the manufacturing sector in the country has a positive outlook in spite of the current debilitating factors.

The federal government’s commendation was conveyed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, at a ceremony that marked the celebration of the MAN’s 50th anniversary, recently, with the theme “Building a Resilient and Competitive Manufacturing Sector.”

Adebayo commended members of MAN, “for increasing national output by at least $40 billion in the past 20 years and employing close to seven million Nigerians.”

He said one of the major contributions of the manufacturing sector could be seen, “in its amazing example in the cement industry, which has witnessed an incredible growth to fully cater for local demands,” adding that “the outlook for the manufacturing sector is positive, especially with the development of private sector led crude oil refining will help to establish Nigeria as one of the manufacturing hubs in Africa.”

The President of the MAN, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, said that May 7, 1971, would remain a special in the history of the association as it marked the incorporation of the association that birthed a private sector led advocacy body for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

Ahmed said: “From a humble beginning in 1971, MAN has evolved into the authentic voice of manufacturers in Nigeria as a credible platform for the private sector to formulate and articulate policy suggestions that complement government’s efforts in the overall interest of the economy.

“In West Africa and Africa, the MAN has played significant roles in fostering collaboration amongst manufacturers and advancing the interest and recognition of the private sector.

“We are currently mobilising the various manufacturers’ associations in West Africa to revive the Federation of West African Manufacturers Association (FEWAMA) with the active support of ECOWAS. At the same time; in conjunction with the African Union, the MAN is leading the formation of the Pan-African Manufacturers Association.”

Speaking during the ceremony, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Industry, Hon. Saidu Alkali, congratulated MAN for contributing its quota in Nigeria’s journey to economic development through the provision of quality employment and the guarantee of the payment of sustainable wages that have helped in no small measure to reduce poverty in Nigeria.

In the same vein, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Mohammed Bello, described the manufacturing sector as the foundation for building the country’s economy, adding that, “we must all work to ensure the revival of the manufacturing sector because we cannot rely on outside to produce for us all that we need.”