Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to fasten the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to boost its industrialisation goals. It also called on the FG to tackle Nigeria’s electricity and interest rate issues to take advantage of tariff-free African trade.
This was disclosed by Mr Mansur Ahmed, President of MAN at the 11th Business Luncheon of the Apapa Branch Council of MAN on Thursday in Lagos, themed: “Improving Nigeria’s Manufacturers Competitiveness Within the Context of AFCFTA’s Implementation.”
The Nigerian National Action Committee on the AfCFTA has already said that its strategic objective is to capture 10% of Africa’s imports by 2035, thereby doubling Nigeria’s export in the process.
What MAN is saying
MAN’s President urged the FG to fasten the implementation of the AfCFTA and support its industrialisation drive because Nigeria is not currently competitive enough to fully maximise and harness the benefits of the AfCFTA.
He added that Nigeria lacks competitiveness in areas including infrastructure and electricity, which comes at a cost, citing that South African manufacturers have access to gas and electricity compared to those in Nigeria.
“Almost all manufacturers have to provide their own electricity. To provide electricity, they have to buy generators and fuel them.
“A company here will have to generate its own water and pay government for generating the water,” he stated
He added that the FG must also tackle interest and exchange rates challenges, because “There is no way any of our manufacturers can source 100 per cent of their inputs locally. There are still some things that need to be imported.”
The president said the association would continue its advocacy to ensure that the cost of doing business was reduced.
What you should know
- Last month, the Federal Government of Nigeria disclosed that the $2.5 billion Dangote Fertiliser plant will be beneficial for Nigeria’s food-related exports as Africa ventures into the African Free Trade Continental Agreement( AfCFTA).
- Trade Minister, Niyi Adebayo said “The Dangote fertiliser plant goes a long way in realising this vision not just for Nigeria but for the entire continent. It has the capacity not just to meet Nigeria’s needs, but at its current capacity, it will earn millions of dollars from exports. It will also help with the unemployment problem.”
- The Minister noted that since the advent of the AfCFTA, cross border trade has become more attractive. He said the AfCFTA has the capacity to boost intra African trade and is expected to integrate the African market, consisting of 1.3 billion consumers with an aggregate GDP of $3.4 trillion,