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AfCFTA: MAN urges stakeholders to address vital issues



The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on stakeholders of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to address vital issues during negotiations to ensure that the overall goal is achieved by the continent.

MAN President, Mr Mansur Ahmed made the call on Thursday at the opening ceremony of a two-day African Continental Free Trade Area National Forum, in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the event is themed, “Effective Implementation for Industrialisation and Inclusive Economic Development in Nigeria.’

Ahmed said the key issues included technical and political challenges that must be resolved.

According to him, it is important that Nigeria benefits and ensures  she meets the targeted seven per cent economic growth rate expected to take about 100 million people out of poverty.

“President Buhari is committed to lifting 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years; how can we ensure that the AfCFTA leads us towards that journey?”

He said the critical dimensions that must be addressed during conversations concerning the AfCFTA should include policies and regulations, rules and conduct of the players.

“The way we merge the processes, the agreements, regulations, institutions and how these work together to ensure that the game is being played in accordance to the rules and expectations.

“The issues need to be defined in a way that we see the complexities; technical and political, to ensure clarity.

“All these must be formulated in a way that all stakeholders understand their roles and obligations and therefore play according to the rules,’’the MAN president said.

Ahmed said that all negotiators were not of the same capacity and inclination, which would require harmonisation on a regional level to resolve issues such as market offer and collaboration.

He urged stakeholders to view the negotiations with a sense of collaboration and not allow any player deemed as too powerful to dominate.

“We must look at the interest of the group as a whole and the interest of the region, and what provides the best long term and sustainable interest of the region.

“There must be a strong commitment by our governments, various institutions and private sector groups to look beyond the norms and look at the goal for the region and continent,’’he said.


Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Okara/Oluwole Sogunle


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