BusinessDay

Nigerian manufacturers urge to look beyond AfCFTA for new investments

Director-General/Chief Trade Negotiator, Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) Yonov Fred Agah, says at a time that the country is facing huge economic challenges, Nigerian manufacturers must learn to look beyond the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to attract new investments and increase the competitiveness of local industries.

Agah stated this while speaking at the 54th Annual General Meeting of the Ikeja branch of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), adding that the manufacturing sector possesses the greatest potential for rapid economic growth, technological progress, diversification, and structural transformation of the Nigerian economy.

In his presentation on the Theme: ‘Repositioning Nigeria Manufacturing Sector in the Emerging Continent for Sustainable Growth and Productivity’ Agah said to benefit from the AfCFTA and, indeed, all FTAs, Nigerian manufacturers need to determine the tariff classification of their products.

According to him, Manufacturers in Nigeria need to confirm the appropriate tariff preferences and how to claim them; verify the applicable rules of origin, and understand how to export and how to request advance rulings.

Read also: AfCFTA: Nigeria targets $1.2bn export revenue for states

Commenting further on the benefit of International trade, Agah said AfCFTA provide Nigeria with the opportunity to develop a vibrant National Strategy for manufactured exports.

He said that Nigeria’s main objectives in the AfCFTA ROOs negotiations have been to protect local industries and sectors; promote industrialisation and the development of regional value.

“This National Strategy for manufactured exports, when aligned to the country’s trade policy and trade negotiation objectives, will be the mechanisms for country-level surveillance, oversight regarding tariff and non-tariff barriers to Nigeria’s trade in the markets of trading partners”, Agah said.

Mansur Ahmed, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria said urged the Lagos State government to establish industrial parks and expand her skill acquisitions centres for the growing number of young people adding that initiatives such as these will make Lagos state more attractive to investors.

Ahmed lauded the effort of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu led state government for improving transport, energy and security infrastructure which he said are critical components for a conducive business environment.

“We urge you to sustain and improve on the provision of these facilities within and around industrial areas especially in Ikorodu, Ikeja and Apapa, in order to boost industrial activities and expand opportunities for jobs and wealth creation in the state”, Ahmed said.

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