Main Article Content
Our efforts in this research have been geared towards analyzing the operational environments of manufacturing firms in Aba, South-East, Nigeria. Specifically, the case study was Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Abia chapter. Eight five percent of MAN‟s membership was studied. Percentages and test of proportion were used to analyse the data and for hypotheses testing. The study revealed among others that: Government policies impact negatively on entrepreneurship development in Nigeria generally and in Aba specifically. And that manufacturing enterprises in Aba are concentrated in the production of light and consumer oriented goods. These two factors are better described as the harsh economic environments of manufacturers, the cumulative effects of which include: operating below installed capacity, losing business opportunities, incurring losses and closing shop; contributing very little to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at 4.20% in 2011, inability to provide/create employment opportunities, in a country where the rate of unemployment is very high; and inability to compete globally and earn foreign exchange for themselves and the economy, etc. It is against the backdrop of the negative impact of government policies, and the harsh operational environment of the manufacturing sector, that the study made far reaching recommendations.
Key words: Manufacturing, Operational environments, Competitiveness, Gross Domestic Product, Capacity Utilization.