By Godfrey Bivbere
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, has called on the Federal Government to address the infrastructural deficit in the country to make the nation truly competitive following the take-off of the African Continental Trade Agreement, AfCTA, this month.
MAN also expressed fears that unless proper implementation of the rule of origin, Nigeria may become a global dumping ground.
Speaking with Vanguard, MAN’s Director of Economics and Statistics, Ambrose Oruche, said the government must quickly address infrastructure issues like roads, as well as prioritise manufacturing in terms of interest rates on loans and easy access to imported raw materials.
He warned that unless safety measures are put in place to prevent foreign goods being repackaged as goods made in Africa, the Nation will definitely become a dumping ground for such goods.
Oruche stated: “AfCTA is supposed to be beneficial to us because we have more manufactured goods across the region that we can think of, but if we are not careful it might be harmful to us in the sense that we could experience trans-shipment and people packaging something that is made in China, labelling it made in Africa.
“It is something we have to be careful about to avoid Nigeria becoming a dumping ground for foreign-made products. If the rule of origin is implemented and safety measures are adopted to avoid dumping, Nigeria will be able to take advantage and benefit from it.
“We have to look at our competitiveness and what makes us uncompetitive. For instance, addressing the issue of infrastructural deficit, the high cost of funds, interest rate, talk about prioritising manufacturing, and giving them access to forex, taking care of regulatory challenges,” he noted.