MAN wants Action Committee on AfCFTA

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has urged the Federal Government to establish a National Action Committee on Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), to coordinate relevant Ministries, Departments, Agencies of Government and relevant private sector groups to drive the implementation of the AfCFTA projects and initiatives.

In a statement through its Director-General, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, the decision of MAN and other stakeholders to recommend that Mr. President appends 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.

“We count, very strongly, on the commitment of government to enhance the capacity of the manufacturing sector and indeed other economic actors to take advantage of the opportunities inherent in the continental free trade area and to, quite importantly, mitigate the multifarious risks. We also expect that MAN would be part of the national structures and processes that would be put in place by the Federal Government to manage the process,” he said.

He said there is imminent need for the government to initiate policies that would encourage startups in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise, this sector contributes over 80per cent of the Gross Domestic product, and if properly incentivised and supported could be able to ramp up production and total exports of the country.

As the country commits to this, in addition to the President’s call for fair trade, he said,  “we believe that the government will back its words with action by putting the necessary measures in place to prevent an abuse of agreement.” In addressing the issue of Nigeria’s porous border which encouraged smuggling of foreign goods, he said there could not have been a better time to adopt technology-based border policing and surveillance to check abuse of the intra-Africa Trade protocols and trade malpractices. Overall, he stated that all should 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.

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