THE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has urged the Federal Government not to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), saying the measure would save Nigeria from being used as a dumping ground for foreign goods.
MAN’s President, Mansur Ahmed, who is also the interim Chairman of Africa Manufacturers Association said this was the stand of the association taken at the 2019 Edition of the MAN Annual Media Luncheon for Commerce and Industry Correspondents in Lagos.
Ahmed urged the government to withhold its assent to the agreement pending the completion of the ongoing assessment to determine its likely impact on the manufacturing sector and the economy at large.
He said “The position of the association is that government should not sign the framework agreement until wide reaching sensitisation and proper assessment are conducted on its impact on the economy and the manufacturing sector. Our advocacy on AfCFTA is yielding desired results and as you are aware, Nigeria is yet to sign the framework agreement. MAN is a functional member of this committee that is billed to submit its report to the President in early February. In addition, MAN, being a proactive organisation that strongly believes in evidence-based advocacy commissioned a sector-specific study on AfCFTA. We have shared the study, full report and fact sheets on the highlights of findings with the Presidential Committee on AfCFTA.
We are confident that the eventual position of Nigeria on the AfCFTA Framework Agreement would be well articulated in a fresh National Negotiation Mandate that is in the best interest of the manufacturing sector and indeed the Nigerian economy. The position would pay utmost attention to emerging issues on AfCFTA and ensure that the industrial aspiration of the country is not compromised on the platter of free trade.”
AfCFTA is a free trade area being outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by 49 out of the 55 nations in African. If the agreement is ratified, the free-trade area will be the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation. The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and was signed on March 21, 2018 by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda. Nigeria is yet to sign the agreement.