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Ahead of July, 2020 takeoff of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has listed five key factors that will effectively determine Nigeria’s involvement in the first instance.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had in January signed for Nigeria’s participation while the National Assembly is yet to ratify Nigeria’s full involvement at a time Ghana, the chosen operational headquarters of the scheme has stepped efforts to domesticate the agreement.
Listing the key technical concerns, MAN said the factors include the crafting of robust national negotiation mandates, the Rules of Origin, phased liberalisation, the developing and less developed countries dichotomy, and the schedule of specific tariff items in the basket for Trade in Goods.
Speaking at a recent workshop training with sectoral leaders held in MAN House, Lagos with theme; ‘Zonal AfCFTA Sensitisation Workshop,’ MAN President Mansur Ahmed, said the inability of the manufacturing concerns to see signs of the benefits of AfCFTA ahead of the July takeoff date is forcing the trade group to be worrisome.
In all, MAN is demanding strong protectionist measures for Nigerian products to avoid cases of dumping arising from harsh production condition in-country.
However, aside issues of supportive policies that will drive seamless drop in costs of production in-country during the regime of AfCFTA, MAN is also seeking early resolution of challenges like trade malpractices, insecurity, xenophobia, poor trade facilitation infrastructure, inability to translate the ease of doing business initiative into a reduction in the cost of doing business.
Others are porous border, trade corridor impediments and readiness to engage and support the leadership of the National Assembly with necessary information that can facilitate beneficial regional and continental parliamentary engagements.
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