In a bid to address smuggling and tap into potential opportunities of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo, has made known that the Federal Government was planning to inaugurate a committee to protect local manufacturers in the country (Nigeria).

Speaking on the sidelines of the yearly general meeting of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Adebayo who represented President Muhammed Buhari at the meeting, noted that many African countries had enviable GDP growth rates compared to their global peers, but poverty, unemployment, and mortality rates within the continent were on the rise.

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These, according to Adebayo, however, indicate that the reported growth was not inclusive, saying the growth was driven by resource extraction without local value addition.

The minister maintained that unless the country focuses investments on rural development, migration into urban areas will continue to increase. ()

How FG is approaching local value addition: The Federal Government had been committed to supporting resource-based industrialization policy, by introducing various industrial incentives in priority sub-sectors, enhancing the ease of doing business, developing the capacities of entrepreneurs and initiating relevant Executive Orders. These will promote transparency in governance, enhance local content and improve patronage of products manufactured locally.

What you should know: The AfCTA creates a borderless market for African products. Negotiations had been on since 2013 before a deal was finally drafted. 44 countries initially assented to the deal but membership has now increased to 54 countries. The agreement requires immediate removal of tariffs on 90% of goods while an additional 10% of goods classified as ‘sensitive goods’ would be negotiated on a later date.

The free-trade area is the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.

[READ ALSO:Apple records $44 billion loss in market value amidst US trade war with China]

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