◊ We are very delighted – MAN
By Franklin Alli
“Afreximbank is allocating US$500 million Facility to Nigeria, particularly the manufacturing sector, for them to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and also to deal with the challenges.”
Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah, President/ Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank, disclosed today, during the ongoing 47th annual general meeting of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Lagos.
Prof. Oramah, who was the Guest Speaker, told industry chiefs, bankers and government officers at the event that the US$ 500 million Facility is for the Nigerian Government and manufacturers in the country.
He explained: “Within that $500 million, we have put in place AfCFTA Adjustments Facility, which is intended to do two things – one part of it is to support governments who would suffer temporary fiscal revenue loses because of tariff reductions or removal, and so we will give them the facility to make it possible for them to adjust to the shock of sudden reduction in tariff.
“The other part is intended to support companies to make the adjustment I highlighted in my speech. Some companies have to retool by way of equipment so that they can be more effective; it may well be that some move-up value chain or go-down value chain will lead to further reinvestment.
“So, that facility will be made available to companies that have decided to make those adjustments to be able to take advantage of the AfCFTA.
“So, we will also be discussing with the Executives of MAN and I am sure they would consult to agree on how that facility can be made available to their members so that they will be prepared to take advantage of the continental free trade and also deal with the challenges.”
Response from MAN
In response, Engr. Mansur Ahmed, MAN President, said: “It is an exciting opportunity for Nigeria, particularly the manufacturing sector because we have what it takes to take advantage of the AfCFTA.
“I am very delighted; the facility will help us to prepare ourselves to explore these opportunities; so, on behalf of all of our members, I really thank Prof. Oramah and the Afreximbank for availing us this opportunity.
Afreximbank- MAN Committee
He told MAN member companies: “Tomorrow, during the private session of our AGM, one of the first things we are going to do is to set up Afreximbank- MAN Committee that will focus on how we can prepare ourselves to take advantage of this opportunity.”
He noted that before now, “When we started talking about this AfCFTA, many people, of course, many of our members was afraid. I went to the recently held African International Trade Fair and I met a lot of other manufacturers and business people, yes , all of us were concerned and worried but the other countries outside of Nigeria were not afraid; we are the largest country in Africa, and so, we shouldn’t be afraid.
The problem has been the lack of information about what AfCFTA is about. Now we are aware of where the opportunities are, and from this presentation, there is no lacking in terms of supporting facilities.”
In Picture: From left: Segun Ajayi – Kadir, DG MAN; Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group; Prof. Okey Oramah, President / Chairman of the Board of Directors Afreximbank; Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry; Chairman of the House Committee on industry, Bayo Oshinowo, and Engr. Mansur Ahmed, MAN President, at the 47th annual meeting of MAN in Lagos.