CFTA: I won’t allow Nigeria to be dumping ground —Buhari
…Sets up c’ttee to review framework agreement …Nigeria, S/Africa lead boycott …44 countries agree on $3trn African trade bloc …MAN calls for review of draft agreement By Yinka Kolawole, Johnbosco
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said his administration will not be in a hurry to enter into any agreement that would make the country a dumping ground and jeopardise the security of the nation.
Consequently, the President has set up a committee to review the Continental Free Trade Area, (CFTA), framework agreement, which was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, yesterday, by some African countries.
Already 44 African countries agreed to form a $3 trillion continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people, even as the continent’s two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, were among countries that withheld their consent.
Meanwhile the President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs, said at a media briefing, yesterday that the agreement, in its present form, would put Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and the economy in general at a gross disadvantage against other countries.
Briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council, (FEC), meeting presided over by the President at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said it was expected that Minister of Labour would call for a stakeholders’ meeting with the labour movement to brainstorm on the implications of the CFTA framework agreement.
He said: “The explanation from the President, which the FEC bought, was that he would not want to agree to anything that would hinder local entrepreneurs, and on the surface, except if proven wrong, is that that agreement has the capacity to affect local entrepreneurship.
“Then he also said anything that could encourage the dumping of finished goods in Nigeria was going to be contrary to our interest. So, it is one of the reasons he declined. Then he said the country is yet to fully understand the economic and security implications of the agreement.”