The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) have partnered to checkmate illegal trade deals that might exist with Nigeria’s recent signing of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Although, the president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Mansur Ahmed stated that the agreement would open lots of opportunities for the Nigerian economy, he also warned that it comes with potential threats and challenges where unscrupulous dealers in substandard goods would hide under it to bring in fake and substandard goods.
To address this challenge, he called on the government to empower SON in terms of human, technological and institutional capacity to combat possible threat of dumping post AfCFTA.
In his words, “I believe this creates a new demand for SON and other regulators to scale up their activities to prevent dumping. By doing this, we are not protecting the interest of only the Nigerian manufacturers, but the African manufacturers at large. It requires an even greater cooperation with stakeholders such as MAN. I believe this is what the agency is working on now and we will certainly support any effort in this regard.”
He added: “SON has built capacity, they have incorporated new technology in their work, but also the challenges in the ports have increased and with the signing of the AfCFTA there will be more challenges that would be facing SON. I think returning SON to the ports is something we should look at.”
According to him, plans are ongoing to sign a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SON which would enable both parties to work more extensively, while also addressing issues confronting the manufacturing sector.
“The MoU would address all issues as they arise in a continuous basis, because it is not something we can do once and forget about, we will be interfacing SON continuously and therefore, we need to find a framework which will be provided by the MoU that will enable us to resolve issues as they come without creating challenges to operators or regulators,” he said.