AfCFTA: Continent May Turn To Dumping Ground ----MAN Warns   

Few days after Nigeria joined the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), manufacturers under the auspices of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), have warned that the continent may be turned into a dumping ground by some countries under the guise of Agreeement.

The President of MAN, Engineer Mansur Ahmed while disclosing this to Shipping Position Daily in Lagos on Tuesday, however lauded President Buhari for signing the agreement behalf of Nigeria, he said it will help to boost the economy of the nation tremendously.

He however urged leaders of the various member countries to ensure that they possess the political will to ensure that member countries comply with the regulations.

Explaining further, Mansur reiterated the need for Nigeria to build the necessary infrastructures both at domestic levels of the various countries.

Mansur also urged the continent to guide against fake goods.

"We must also guide against other people from outside the continent taking advantage of the nature of this laudable collaboration of our economies to come and dump goods here in our market"

"I also think that we should guide against trade malpractices and proliferation of fake goods across the African market"

"We must build necessary infrastructure both at the domestic level of the various countries and also cross border infrastructure like improvements in our ports are involved"

The MAN boss also said that for efficiency to be achieved by the AfCFTA activities of various regulators must be harmonised. 

"Also activities of the various regulators like the Customs and Immigration must be harmonized and they must be applied across the continent"

"In terms of institutional capacity as well as human capacity, must all be significantly improved to ensure that the right things are done and that things are done properly"

"There must be clear rules guiding the conduct of the various institutions of those domestic level of the continental level, these are the minimum requirements to make this agreement work"

He maintained that there is need to improve on the infrastructure in the continents, especially in the area of power and the port system.

"If we don’t enhance the quality of our infrastructure; including power and our ports system and road network, if we don’t improve on these, it means our industries will not be able to produce and compete in the wider market"

"As I said before, the trade facilitation system rules, infrastructure and regulation must all be clearly defined in a way that will enable us to trade fairly and competitively with each other", he added. 

Mansur stressed the need to improve on trade facilitation in other to ensure efficiency on the agreement.

"We must continue to improve on our trade facilitation system including infrastructure to ensure that we guide against the challenges I motioned earlier,  like dumping of other goods and other continents bringing in goods outside the continent under the guise that they were made in Africa"  

The MAN boss said that smuggling of goods in the continent will be a thing of the past if the terms of the agreement as spelt out are properly followed.

"It will help to protect the African economy and it will help the continent to work together towards addressing some common issues including security issues and it could be of advantage for all countries to participate"

"We have one of the trending manufacturing sector in the continent and if the right thing is done in terms of ensuring that the terms of the agreement are complied with, it I think we will be happy and that we have all the things established as recommended by the committee I believe that Nigeria stands to gain tremendously from the wider market" he concluded.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), has said that,   by signing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, the Federal Government has reaffirmed Nigeria’s leadership on African trade integration.

The NOTN Director-General Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, made this known in a statement signed by Mr Emenike Chibuzor, Head, Communications and Strategy, NOTN in Abuja on Tuesday.

Osakwe, who is Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator said that the President’s signature was a bold step forward for Nigeria African trade integration and Nigeria’s leadership in the AU.

“The President has demonstrated a remarkable leadership commitment to due process of the rule of law for trade integration, openness to trade and investment in a period in the global economy characterised by protectionism,” he said.

The AfCFTA aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of people and investments.