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MAN advises government on signing trade deals


Frank Jacobs

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has advised government to cautiously carry out the signing of African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) to prevent unintended consequences that may lead to the opening up of the nation’s economy to foreign products, through the back door.

Indeed, MAN further urged the Federal Government not to succumb to pressure by the European Union for Nigeria to sign the EU-ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in order not to reverse the gains made in the sector over the years.

MAN President, Dr Frank Jacobs, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2018 edition of the Nigeria Manufacturing Equipment (NME) expo and Manufacturing Partnership for African Development (mPAD) in Lagos yesterday, sought proper and adequate consultations with critical stakeholders to mitigate the imminent onslaught ahead of the implementation phase of the CFTA.

He said MAN, through the yearly international event, has taken the challenge of leading the sector to play a key role in the renewed quest for Nigeria to become one of the leading industrialised economies in the world.

Jacobs said the expo provides a veritable platform for small businesses to learn new production processes in order to boost their production output, reduce costs, improve product quality and diversify into new product lines.

Meanwhile, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, reaffirmed government’s commitment to removing bottlenecks faced by investors in their day-to-day business.

He added that the present administration would continue to sustain the economy through the private sector involvement.In his remarks, Commercial Director, Clarion Events, West Africa, Russell Hughes, said the exhibition is an avenue to showcase machinery, raw materials and logistics solutions for Nigeria’s manufacturing and industrial sector.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group of Companies, Aliko Dangote, said government must begin to see the manufacturing sector beyond creation of jobs but being resilience to economic sustenance.

Dangote who was represented by Head of Strategy, Dangote Group, Aliyu Suleiman, stressed that there is need for MAN to create an industrial strategy that belongs solely to Nigeria irrespective of any political party or government.

This industrial strategy he said would create a systemic roadmap for the growth of manufacturing sector.In his words: “We need to be prepared to compete with the Asian tigers like China creating tariffs and good incentives for businesses to thrive.”In his goodwill message, Vice President of Nigeria, Professor YemiOsinbajo, said the organized private sector must play an integral part in developing the industrial sector of the economy, stating that no nation can survive without a thriving manufacturing sector.

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Frank Jacobs
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