The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has identified power failure, lack of standardization of goods produced in Nigeria among others, as factors that may inhibit the country from benefiting from the recently-signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).
Speaking yesterday during a round table meeting with members of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN), Founder of NAGAFF; Dr Boniface Aniebonam who was represented by Barrister Fred Akokhia the legal adviser to association said government should first address some of the factors that may inhibit the country from getting full benefits from the agreement.
He said: "We believe Government should have proper consultation with stakeholders in the country before implementing the agreement. Having a critical meeting with stakeholders like NAGAFF, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) among other prominent groups that will help the country to benefit maximally from the agreement.
“Looking at our population, this will be of great benefit to other producing African countries, who have things to export and Nigeria is a very big market from them to benefit from”
"But what do we have to export, what are we producing that we want to export? We need to ask the so called Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) what they are producing; we know most of this people only repackage goods”
"The government need to put the right infrastructure in place, our power supply must be steady, there is nothing we can produce without power supply so the government must look into this and ensure that this is put in place before implementing the agreement.
"Also the issue of standardization must be put in place, because we have issues in time past where some African countries where rejecting Nigeria products because it doesn't meet up to standard.
"Standard is the component of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) that ensure: accuracy of measurements to the International system of units.
"We do also know that the institution that provides and ensure; this accuracy and traceability of measurement in every country is the national metrology institution (NMI) which is domiciled In Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and located in Enugu state.
"We also know that NMI is the custodian of the national primary measurement standards for all field of measurements namely: mass, volume, length, pressure, temperature, force.
"It is therefore our informed opinion that building adequate infrastructure for metrology In Nigeria will provide the required confidence in made in Nigeria goods and serviced will be highly competitive". He said.
The association urged the government to delay implementation of the agreement pending meeting with relevant stakeholders.