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NIGERIA: ???????? ????? ?????? ??????? ?? ????? ????????????????? ??????? ??????????? ???? ?????

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While the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) offers limitless opportunities for the industrialization of Africa, authorities across the continent must take the right policy actions to actualize them, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

He stated that such actions include the protection of local industries and improving value chains.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this in a message delivered today at a โ€˜Roundtable on Industrialization in Africa themed โ€œPositioning African Industries for Economic Transformation and Continental Free Tradeโ€, organized by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to celebrate its Golden Jubilee.

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According to the Vice President, โ€œfor certain, the AfCFTA is indispensable if industrial development is to take off in Africa because it offers wider markets and economies of scale which are essential for manufacturing to be competitive.

“We must take policy actions to create an environment in which businesses can thrive. To start with, we must adopt the right type of macroeconomic and industrial policies.

โ€œIt is important for African governments to provide a stable macroeconomic environment which avoids and smoothens out volatility in prices, sharp deteriorations in the current account and budget deficits and of course, rapid accumulation in debt burdens.โ€

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Speaking on actions that will boost manufacturing, Prof. Osinbajo said โ€œon the industrial side, policies like tariffs, quotas, subsidies and non-tariff barriers which protect our infant industries so that they can create jobs and enable learning are vital.โ€

He then added that โ€œwell negotiated rules of origin are important in the context of the free trade agreements as they are key to preventing trans-shipment and the deflection of trade. Without them, firms from non-state parties could set up simple labelling operations in one member State with a view to shipping already finished products to another member State without really adding any value.โ€

Prof. Osinbajo observed that it is important for MAN to involve itself in an advisory capacity to government negotiators “as we go further into the rules of origin negotiations (these rules negotiations have, of course, started), but I think as we go on, we should get more contributions and advise from MAN.โ€

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โ€œOur manufacturers must also strive to become competitive after clearly specified time periods so that they can withstand the ever present danger of stiff competition from imports. In other words, while our manufacturing industries must be nurtured and supported, they cannot remain infants forever,โ€ the VP added.

Emphasizing the point about enhancing industrial competitiveness, Prof. Osinbajo noted that โ€œone of the ways to increase the competitiveness of African industries is to develop and deepen regional value chains wherein production systems starting from conception and design right through to supply of raw materials, processing, transport, storage, marketing and sales take place within our countries and continent.โ€

Citing examples of Nigeria and South Africa, the VP explained thus: โ€œwhen we export commodities to the rest of the world, we are also exporting jobs and the positive spillover effects such as learning that come with manufacturing are lost.

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“Happily, we are already beginning to see some green shoots emerging in this regard as Nigerian fertiliser blenders obtain phosphates from Morocco for blending with urea produced in our petrochemical plants. Similarly, South African car manufacturers already buy leather for car seats from Botswana. We however need much more of such activities.

He said there are a number of other things that need to be put in place quite quickly “if we are to see the kind of manufacturing activity that we desire. First of all, we need to develop a strong infrastructural base. Extensive, cheap and affordable infrastructure is vital for the success of our economies.

โ€œWe must build a network of roads, bridges and rail that will facilitate the movement of goods and people just as we build the electricity plants to power our factories and the broadband networks that lubricate modern business. It would also be essential in the interim to develop sites with dedicated infrastructural and regulatory structures like Special Economic Zones and Shared Facilities for small businesses.โ€

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Prof. Osinbajo added that another major objective of policies aimed at preparing industries for AfCFTA โ€œmust be to ease payments across borders and implementation of the protocols on free movement of personsโ€.

Continuing, the VP said in the pre-recorded message โ€œit is particularly important in this regard to rapidly operationalise the effort by Afreximbank to establish a Pan-African Payments and Settlement Platform. This will go a long way in creating the desired continental payments system and also in facilitating cross-border informal trade which is estimated to be about $93 billion per annum.โ€

Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN is leaving Abuja today on a short visit to Arusha, Tanzania where he will be received by his Tanzanian counterpart, Dr. Philip Mpango.

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While in Arusha, Prof. Osinbajo would visit the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR), an African Union agency in Arusha, among other engagements before he returns to Abuja on Monday.

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2nd September 2021

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Nigeria

Those Instigating, Elongating Crime Against Humanity In Zamfara State Will Soon Be Exposed, Prosecuted ~Gov. Matawalle

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Zamfara state Governor, Bello Matawalle has said those collaborating with bandits to elongate crime against humanity in Zamfara State will soon be exposed and prosecuted.

Governor Matawalle disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja after he briefed President Buhari on the security situation in the State.

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The Governor said investigation had begun to ascertain the involvement or the otherwise of people in the list of collaborators of the criminals and their degrees of collaborations.

Governor Matawalle gave the assurance that no one found to be collaborating with the criminals would be spared, no matter their status in the society.

He refuted the outrageous figures of those killed by bandits, which are being published in the social and conventional media, and accused profiteers of the crime for the exaggeration.

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The Governor, who noted that the initial peace agreement he signed with the bandits worked for 9 months, said the agreement got grounded by some people, who instigated the bandits to renege on their commitments of the agreement to gain cheap political clout.

He however said the new strategy to be adopted, which he has informed President Buhari about, would soon usher in peace and stability in the region.

Governor Matawalle thanked the Republic of Niger for assisting Nigeria in her fight against terrorism and banditry.

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