A former Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Ikem Odumodu has cautioned Nigeria on the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACfTA) agreement recently signed, saying that if not properly handled, it might affect the nation’s economic growth and development.
Odumodu made the statement at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UNIZIK Business School, Awka, Anambra State, during the second International Conference.
The conference had the theme: “Re-Engineering Africa’s Economies Towards Sustainable Business Development”.
The ex-SON DG said the agreement signed by President Muhammadu Buhari few weeks ago at the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union could kill local industries if not properly managed.
Odumodu said the agreement had made Africa become a continent without boundaries, stressing that for Africa to be free, economically, it must begin from mental emancipation and stop depending on Asia, Europe and America for help.
He noted that ACfTA was now being presented as the hope for sustainable development for Africa because of the more than 1.3bn consumers that are up for grabs from a single economic block.
“Nigeria, particularly, must roll up her sleeves to ensure that AfCTA is not a curse but a blessing. Africa too must sit up so that it will not be a dumping ground for good and bad products from the industrialised parts of the world who are increasingly deploying economic diplomacy as a new form of colonisation,” he added.
According to him, if Africa could take care of its poor roads, excessive borrowing and tackle corruption, African internal trade will rise from its current 17 per cent to about 35 per cent in the medium term.
The ex- SON DG also called on Nigeria to have proper national quality policy and quality infrastructure as she cannot be globally competitive in products or services without quality control mechanism.
According to him, good products cannot just happened without good quality policy.