Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) recall that Association 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.In a statement endorsed by the Director General stating MAN’s position on Nigeria’ signing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) disclosed that to aid the competitiveness of local manufacturers, government should strongly address the issue of multiple taxation and over regulation of the production sector which has added to the existing myriad of challenges.
Amehnews recall that President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement said “To secure the necessary safeguards required to ensure that our domestic policies and programs are not compromised, I wish to recall that the committee recommended the introduction of explicit rules on import quota restrictions; adoption of a common Market Access Offer for Trade in Goods and Trade in Services for ECOWAS, including synchronized Sensitive and Exclusive Lists; adoption of the common Market Access Offer for Trade in Goods to replace and supersede the 2013 ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET), which created vulnerabilities for Nigerian industry and manufacturing; and adoption of appropriate continental customs cooperation and other mechanisms to tackle predatory trade.”
MAN DG said “We 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.
“There were also several conditions that the steering committee advised should accompany Nigeria’s consent, which I believe had been taken on board.
“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.
DG Ajayi-Kadir noted that 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.