The Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun has said Nigeria and other members of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), would gain immensely from the agreement in the area of food security, employment, wealth generation, and poverty alleviation.
Speaking at the 36th Annual General Meeting of the Ogun State branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), in Abeokuta, Abiodun stressed the need for critical stakeholders in the agreement to collaborate in appraising and reviewing the process of the continental agreement.
According to the governor, although AfCFTA comes with immense benefits to member Nations, it was important that the critical stakeholders in different African countries also come together to review the process.
“Our production base has continued to expand and we are harnessing the potentials of the manufacturing sector towards improving on policy formulations and programmes to internalize and mainstream AfCFTA into Nigeria’s Economic Development Plan,” he said.
“Interestingly, the results have remained positive, especially, in the area of employment generation, wealth creation, food security and poverty alleviation and consequently, the continued improvement in the standards of living of Nigerians.
He said the theme of the meeting, ‘The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement And Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector – Maximizing The Gains; Mitigating The Draw Backs’, was apt for the cross-fertilization of ideas for the development of the manufacturing industry, saying the sector has remained the redeeming feature for Nigeria’s economic survival.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that the Federal Government has upped the ante on economic diversification and re-tooling the manufacturing sector for economic sustainability.
“By doing this, we will come up with improved and more practical recommendations that will make such international economic collaboration more beneficial to the manufacturing sector in particular, and, the nation’s economy in general,” the governor added.
Also, he said his administration has put in place policies and programmes for the Ease of Doing Business to harness the economic potentials of the state.
According to him, policies such as the Business Environment Council and Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS), among others, had been put in place to make Ogun more attractive to investors.
Furthermore, the governor disclosed that the Nigeria Customs Service was planning to relocate some of its operations from Lagos State into the Agro Cargo Airport that will be ready in the Fourth Quarter Q4 of 2022.
“Earlier this week, I received a letter from the Nigeria Customs Service requesting that we allow them to have a presence at the Agro Cargo Airport, that they will like to relocate most of their operations from Lagos State into that airport,” he added.
Remarking, MAN President, Engr Mansur Ahmed, represented by the Vice President, Southwest, Mr Samuel Kolawole, said the meeting was an opportunity for the association to engage the state government in its policies, plans and directions on issues affecting manufacturers.
On his part, the state chairman of the association, Mr Seleem Adegunwa, noted that the Public-Private Partnership initiative of the state government was yielding fruits as it enables the private sector to collaborate with the government in different ways.
AFCFTA will enhance food security, employment – Gov Abiodun