Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has said that Nigeria and other members of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) stand to gain immensely from the agreement in the area of employment, wealth generation, food security and poverty alleviation.
Abiodun stated this at the 36th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ogun State branch, held in Abeokuta, on Thursday. The governor, however, stressed the need for critical stakeholders in different African countries to come together to appraise and review process of the continental agreement.
“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 African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCTA) into Nigeria’s Economic Development Plan.
“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. No doubt, AfCTA comes with immense benefits to member Nations. Nevertheless, it is important that critical stakeholders in different African countries also come together to appraise and review the process,” he pointed out.
He said that the MAN’s Annual General Meeting, with the theme, ‘The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement And Nigeria Manufacturing Sector – Maximising The Gains; Mitigating The Draw backs,’ is an important platform for a cross-fertilisation of ideas for the development of the manufacturing sector which he said remained the redeeming feature for Nigeria’s economic survival.
Abiodun praised the Ogun state branch of MAN for being consistent in its commitment and determination to make the critical difference in its efforts to promote Made-in-Nigeria goods and to ensure that the ideals of industrialising the state comes into fruition.
“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.
He maintained that his administration has put in place policies and programmes for the Ease of Doing Business with the aim to harnessing the economic potentials of the state. According to him, policies such as the Business Environment Council, Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS), establishment of the Industrial Parks and so on, had been put in place to make Ogun more attractive to investors.
Abiodun, therefore, called on investors to take advantage of various economy policies available and invest in the state. On efforts to enhance transportation of raw materials and finished goods within and without the state, the governor informed the gathering that plans were in the top gear to begin the construction of the Sagamu-Ogijo road by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) using the tax credit scheme system.