This Day | 15 March 2016
Don’t endorse ECOWAS-EU economic partnership agreement, MAN tells FG
By Ndubuisi Francis
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has admonished the federal government to withhold its endorsement of the ECOWAS-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as presently configured because both parties are not at par developmentally.
It also argued that succumbing to the European Union’s (EU’s) pressure for its endorsement would amount to economic slavery and doom for the country’s industrialisation efforts.
The MAN President, Frank Udemba Jacobs, made this appeal on Tuesday during a courtesy visit by the Association to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
“The position of MAN on the ECOWAS-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) IS that Nigeria should not endorse the Trade Agreement in its present form as both parties are not at par developmentally. Succumbing to EU’S pressure for its endorsement would amount to economic slavery and doom for the country’s industrialisation efforts because the modest achievements recorded so far would be wiped away.
“We request your support on this issue. Nigeria’s position should be given top- most consideration on entering in to any International Trade Agreement,’’ he added, a statement issued by the Director, Information, in the ministry, Mr. Charles Dafe, said.
Udemba urged the federal government to sustain the Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), adding that this will assist in boosting the nation’s infrastructure base.
He also called for the continuation of the Rail Master Plan, in view of the importance of the rail system in the haulage of bulk goods and movement of personnel.
Doing so, he added, has the potential to ease congestion at the country’s seaports, particularly the Lagos ports.
The MAN President also called for closer cooperation and interaction with the Budget Ministry on major policy formulations and implementation particularly with regard to those that relate to the development of the manufacturing sector in particular and the real sector in general.
The manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP, Udemba noted, had shown some improvement before the recent slump in forex revenue, expressing the belief that with the right policies in place, the sector would bounce back, especially with focus on diversification of the economy.