AfCFTA’ll increase wealth creation among Nigerians, says Buhari’s aide
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Public Sector Matters and Secretary of the National Action Committee (NAC) on African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Francis Anatogu, said the inter-African trade policy would reduce poverty in Nigeria and boost the wealth-creating capacity of the citizens when it fully takes off
Anatogu said this at CEO Dinner/ Luncheon of Toiletries and Cosmetics Manufacturing Group (T&C group) of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Lagos.
He described the regional trade pact as a process that would benefit generations to come but noted that inter-agency collaboration was necessary if Nigeria would make the best of the agreement, adding that those who would enjoy the benefits “are probably still in primary schools”.
The aide disclosed that his committee was in discussions with relevant agencies on areas of collaboration. He said it was in the interest of all Nigerians to make AfCFTA, which is expected to boost trade among African countries, deliver on its tall ambition.
“Intra-African trade will pull millions out of poverty. Nigeria has huge potential. The global cosmetic market is a N32 billion industry, but we must produce competitively to sell to the rest of the world,” he argued.
Anatogu said the committee would work with the cosmetic manufacturers to prepare them to take maximum advantage of the agreement.
Chairman of the Group, Uche Okafor, said Nigeria has a competitive advantage in cosmetics and that it could be the country’s selling point under AfCFTA.
If the manufacturers get their packaging right, he said, they could compete with their peers in any part of the world.
“There are areas where we need to improve; packaging is one of the areas. There may be expertise issues. But the players are consistently building their capacity.
The most important challenge is infrastructure. With the support of the government, the sector can emerge as a major driver of the economy,” he said.
Participants discussed issues on funding, regulation and packaging, calling on the government to create an enabling environment for manufacturers.