The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has advocated for a deliberate economic policy approach to assist Nigeria in taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area’s benefits.
Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (Apapa branch), Frank Onyebu, said AFCFTA was designed to be a game-changer for Africa’s development ambitions, speaking at a business luncheon on Thursday titled “Improving Nigeria’s Manufacturers Competitiveness within the Context of AfCTA’s Implementation.”
He did say, however, that given the country’s great issues at the moment, making use of the AFCFTA’s prospects would be a difficult effort.
He said, “African Continental Free Trade Agreement would have to be competitive. And to be competitive it must create a deliberate economic policy toward sustainable industrial development. I dare say that there can be no sustainable industrial development without an efficient and sustainable energy system. Any initiative that would lead to a substantial reduction in energy cost is therefore welcome.”
He urged all levels of government to begin implementing the AFCFTA’s design, which reflects a commitment to establishing a framework for deeper socioeconomic integration and improved cooperation that would enable trade, investment, and people mobility while promoting industrialization and the development of a dynamic, competitive manufacturing sector.
“Our own dear Lagos State should as a matter of urgency consider the implementation of this design to reduce the general cost of production.”
Mr Lekan Ogunbowale, who spoke on behalf of Lagos State Commissioner for Industries, Commerce and Co-operatives, Dr Lola Akande, said the government recognized the strategic importance of MAN as an association and that the government would always be willing to have productive conversations with the group on ways to improve the manufacturing sector.
“A forum of this nature provides us with the opportunity to open our hearts in light of what lies ahead,” he said. What obstacles do you face? What shall we do? These are the questions we should be asking.”
The business luncheon featured a presentation by MAN’S Director, Research & Advocacy Support Division, Dr Segun Osidipe, titled “Deliberate Economic Policy Approach towards Sustaining Industrial Development in Nigeria.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Pow Tech Power International, Engineer Goody Duru Oduzie, also gave a presentation on “Ability to effect a substantial reduction in energy cost: A panacea to protecting electrical equipment.”