The president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed, has urged manufacturers to build resilience that the country needs to scale through the present challenges.
He charged them to also be prepared for the economic headwinds that are still ahead while taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the challenges.
According to him, “We are already witnessing the emergence of news of organising our businesses that arise from the impositions of the constraints of Covid-19 through the emergence of digital and virtual ways of engaging ourselves as well as connecting businesses.”
Speaking on the development, the chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG), Chief Ede Dafinone, noted that retaliatory tariffs are illegal as they go against agreements cemented in ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).
He maintained that tariffs also go against the perception and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), saying it is also a way to escape responsibility for agreements signed.
Dafinone stated this on the side-lines of its 4th yearly meeting of the group.
He lamented over the increasing exchange rates, high cost of energy, multiple levels and taxes hindering exporters’ activities at the global market, explaining that since the pandemic struck, exporters have been struggling with reduced international demand coupled with domestic economic challenges.
Dafinone also said port congestion, infrastructural deficiencies and smuggling were still hindering manufacturing.
The president, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Dr. Ken Ukaoha, said the total trade of the ECOWAS region is about $208.1 billion on the average, with an estimate export projection of $137.3 billion and a total import of $80.4 billion.
According to him, Nigeria occupies about 76 per cent of the total trade in ECOWAS while Ghana and Cote D’ivoire occupy 9.2 per cent and 8.64 per cent respectively.
He expressed concern over the lack of value addition to Nigerian commodities.