By Bimbola Oyesola
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has warned that Nigeria will incur a revenue loss estimated at about US$1.3 trillion, if it signs the European Union Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The Association in expressing strong opposition to ECOWAS-EU EPA, said that the agreement will stifle existing manufacturing industries and make them uncompetitive because cheaper finished products from European countries would flood Nigerian markets.
The MAN President, Frank Jacobs, noted that the manufacturers resists the agreement because of its implications on the industrial development of Nigeria.
“Besides, studies carried out on the effect of EPA on Nigeria revealed it would have negative impact on the economy. It should be borne in mind that Nigeria is in recession and needs every effort to pull it out”, he said.
He stated that the EPA agreement would lead to de-industrialisation which could have catastrophic implications on employment generation and poverty alleviation in the country, as there would be loss of investments.
Jacobs explained that the recent policy of resource-based industrialisation adopted by the Federal Government aimed at utilising the country’s abundant natural resources to produce goods and ensure sustainable and enduring industrialisation would automatically be killed.
“Current efforts by Nigerian manufacturers to export non-oil manufactured products would be greatly hampered. The recent surge in the export of non-oil manufactured products which has grown tremendously would also be drastically affected.
“It would negatively affect the informal sector and the SMEs that are currently sustaining a large percentage of our population. The agreement will have implications for Nigeria’s other trading partners such as the US and China especially in the context of Most Favoured Nation (MFN).”
But as ways out, he opined that concerted efforts be made by all stakeholders to overcome the current economic challenges, urging the government to intensify efforts in home grown policies and strategies that have the capacity to offer required economic fillip and achieve desired results.
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