In a stark revelation from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the nation’s manufacturing sector witnessed a substantial loss of 3,567 jobs during the first half of 2023.
These disheartening statistics were unveiled in MAN’s comprehensive half-yearly review of the economy, released on Tuesday.
According to the report, employment generation in the manufacturing sector plummeted to just 6,428 during the first half of 2023.
This represented a sharp 32.8% reduction in employment capacity when compared to the robust 9,559 jobs created in the corresponding period of 2022.
The report highlighted, “In the same vein, a total of 3,567 jobs were lost in the first half of 2023, indicating a staggering 1,855 more jobs lost when compared with the 1,709 jobs lost in the corresponding half of 2022. Additionally, this number surpassed the 850 jobs lost during the latter half of 2022.”
MAN, in response, pointed to a harsh business environment characterized by ill-considered policies and lingering repercussions from the currency redesign policy that initially led to the naira’s shortage.
Furthermore, the report emphasized that the inventory of unsold finished products in the manufacturing sector surged to an alarming N271.9 billion during the first half of 2023, compared to N187 billion in the corresponding period of 2022.
This startling rise amounted to N84.88 billion or 45.4%.
The report attributed this increase in inventory to a weakened purchasing power among consumers, stemming from shrinking real household income due to the persistent inflationary pressures.
This situation was compounded by the scarcity of the naira in the first quarter of the year and the aftermath of subsidy removal.
The adverse effects of subsidy removal and exchange rate unification policies, especially towards the end of the first half of 2023, left the nation’s economy teetering on the precipice of uncertainty.
This ripple effect further eroded the confidence of investors, causing them to exercise caution in committing capital.
MAN commented on this dire situation, stating, “As a result, businesses and foreign investors are increasingly cautious about capital investments, hindering economic growth and prospects for recovery.
The combined effect of these factors is the resultant surge in inflationary pressure, driving up production costs, while simultaneously eroding consumers’ purchasing power and posing significant challenges for manufacturers.”
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