The National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN)on Wednesday, told President Muhammadu Buhari that the country’s economy is still fragile.
Led by its president, Engr Mansur Ahmed, the association noted that despite the significant progress recorded in the last four years, “it is clear that our economy is still fragile.”
“With the GDP at 2.0 per cent and below the population growth rate, the clouds are still threatening and the task of driving the economy upwards is still enormous.
“But Your Excellency, we are encouraged by the very strong commitment you expressed only last week in your Democracy Day address.
“You did say that in your second term, your administration will do, even more, not only to continue to drive the economy on the path of sustained growth but indeed, to create a more inclusive and sustainable economy,” he said.
The MAN president, however, outlined credible policies that had driven the economy forward in the first term of Buhari.
He recognized the government’s efforts at improving the “Ease of Doing Business” project, fight against corruption, focus on poverty reduction, job creation and inclusive growth as well as the launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Responding, Buhari said the country will be guided by ‘‘national interest’’ in taking any decision on the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He said he was ready to receive the report of a committee set up to assess the potential costs and impact of signing the agreement establishing the AfCFTA for Nigeria.
Buhari recalled that the Presidential Steering Committee on the AfCFTA Impact and Readiness Assessment Committee was inaugurated on October 22, 2018, with the mandate to assess the extent to which Nigeria was ready to join the agreement, and what the impact of doing so would be.
The Committee was initially given 12 weeks to conclude its assignment, after holding wide consultations with industry groups and stakeholders, including the MAN.