Nigeria risks dumping ground tag over AfCFTA pact, NECA warns
The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has cautioned that Nigeria risks being a dumping ground with President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)
Director-General of NECA, Timothy Olawale who spoke to journalists after a meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, stated that if infrastructure challenge was not tackled to shore up competitiveness in nation’s business, Nigeria risks being at the receiving end of the deal.
He said the benefits of the agreement notwithstanding, the country’s disadvantaged environment, especially in agriculture and power sectors, as well as the challenge of the road network, transportation of goods and services and accessibility, among others to the different business environment remains.
Nigeria became the 53rd country to join the African Continental Free Trade Area on July 8, 2019, after President Buhari signed the AfCFTA Agreement in Niamey, Niger Republic. “We don’t want a situation where our businesses are not competitive due to the disadvantaged environment they operate.
“Of course we are all familiar with the disadvantaged environment with regards to issue of agriculture among which is power and the issue of road network, that is transportation for goods and services and accessibility to the different business environment.
“Before we start talking about benefits derivable from it, we must also talk of the likely damage it can do to an economy that is fragile like ours, which behaves on us as stakeholders and government to put all hands on deck to address those issues. “Those issues bother on those variables that will ensure the competitiveness of Nigerian businesses and industry,” he stressed.
Timothy, who noted that the AfCFTA agreement was a laudable venture, explained said: “There are lots of benefits inherent in it.
We also know that is capable of endangering capital inflow into the country. Speaking, President of NECA Taiwo Ayodele Adeniyi, noted that they visited Buhari in Aso Rock with representatives of NACCIMA, NACI, MAN, and NANSMA to discuss the challenges facing the association.