THE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has advised the Federal Government to avert Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) abuse.

The agreement was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 7, at the African Union (AU) Extra-Ordinary Meeting in Niamey, Niger Republic.

The group also advised the government to constitute a National Action Committee on AfCFTA to coordinate Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) of government and relevant private sector groups to drive the implementation of the AfCFTA readiness projects and initiatives.

In a statement yesterday, the group urged the Federal Government to adopt technology-based border policing and surveillance to check abuse of the intra-Africa Trade protocols and trade malpractices.

MAN said there was need for the government and other private sector groups to critically analyse the market and strategically capacitate Nigeria’s domestic economic actors to benefit maximally from the AfCFTA.

The group also stressed the need to work towards having a beneficial trade engagement in Africa by effectively mitigating the risks and taking advantage of the opportunities of a 1.2 billion market and $2.5 trillion gross domestic product (GDP).

“You would recall MAN 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,” the statement read in part.

By Oluwakemi Dauda (The Nation)

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