It is on record that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) had earlier cautioned against signing the AFCFTA 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.
And as you are already aware of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) matters, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has signed the Agreement on July 7, 2019 at the African Union (AU) Extra Ordinary Meeting held in Niamey, Niger Republic.The Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said we (MAN) are glad to note that the Federal Government did carry out an all-inclusive nationwide consultation and just like MAN, conducted a country-specific study on the potential impact of AfCFTA. In addition, a Presidential Steering Committee on Impact and Readiness Assessment of the AfCFTA was set up to guide Government on how to independently assess the benefits and risks of the AfCFTA to Nigeria and to propose short, medium and long-term measures to manage them, added he.
The director general in a statement released through protocol officer of MAN in Lagos today Tuesday disclosed that the decision of the Committee to recommend that Mr President append his signature to the agreement was premised on the above stated conditions and it is hoped that these were duly attached to the President’s signature.
“MAN 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.
As the country commits to this, Ajayi-Kadir noted that in addition to the President’s call for fair trade, we believe that the Government will back her words with action by putting the necessary measures in place to prevent an abuse of agreement.
He also call for the issue of the country’s porous border which encouraged smuggling of foreign goods, there could not have been a better time to adopt technology-based border policing and surveillanceto check abuse of the intra-Africa Trade protocols and trade malpractices.
“Overall, we should all work towards having a beneficial trade engagement in Africa. Effectively mitigating the risks and taking advantage of the opportunities of a 1.2 Billion market and $2.5 trillion GDP.
“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