As you are already aware about the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has signed Agreement on July 7, 2019 at the African Union (AU) Extra Ordinary Meeting held in Niamey, Niger Republic.Before then, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) had earlier cautioned against signing the agreement without first adequately consulting the relevant stakeholders and carrying out a country specific study to assess the potential impact of the agreement on the manufacturing sector in particular and the Nigerian economy in general.
For the purpose of recording, according to Segun Ajayi-Kadir, MAN DG, the Association actively participated at the Steering Committee level as well as the Technical Working Group. It was based on the outcome of these processes that Mr. President was advised and he did append his signature at the just concluded Extra-Ordinary Session of the African Union.”
Before he signed, President received the report of Presidential Steering Committee, he said in unmistakable terms that the Agreement should carry with it a manufacturing agenda for the continent and quite importantly, that the goods to be traded should be made-in-Africa products.
Director General of the MAN pointed out that for an open trade arrangement of this nature, we recommend that Industries that would be negatively impacted by the influx of goods should be supported to invest in new areas and displaced labour retrained to take on new employments or vocation.
In a statement endorsed by the Director General of the association stated the MAN’s position on Nigeria’ signing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) said “Needed policies to improve the macroeconomic environment should be put in place and existing ease of doing business initiatives strengthened, especially to lower cost and grows existing capacities.
As the country commits to this, in addition to the President’s call for fair trade, we (MAN) believe that the Government will back her words with action by putting the necessary measures in place to prevent an abuse of agreement.
Ajayi-Kadir urged all his members to update their working tools as he put it ‘On the side of the private sector, we need to optimize our processes and innovate to outperform our contemporaries in the other countries of Africa.’
He reassured that going forward, MAN is joining Government and other private sector groups to critically analyze the continental market and strategically capacitate our domestic economic actors to benefit maximally from the AfCFTA.
in further deepening the faith of the MAN DG,Trade Union Congress (TUC) has assured members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) that it will put the Federal Government on track in infrastructural development to ensure that the country reaps the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Speaking at a media parley in Lagos, TUC President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, promised that the congress would engage Federal Government on infrastructural development, noting that infrastructure holds the key to the nation’s manufacturing sector’s participation in free trade.
The Caption Photo: Segun Ajayi-Kadir, MAN DG