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AfCFTA threatens N50b local market

Published by The Nation on Sun, 25 Aug 2019

Paint manufacturers in the country seem unsettled by the recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement by the federal government, arguing that the development is capable of jeopardizing the development of the over N50billion local investment in the sector.This is happening as the sector is still fighting to curtail the effects of increasing activities of unqualified producers and other grey market operators to their business and the attendant dangers their operations pose to the health of Nigerians and the environment.Investment in the local paint sub-sector is currently estimated at over N50b and installed capacity of 200ML of assorted paints annually, ranging from heavy coatings, car finishes and refinishes. Also in the mix are wood lacquers, industrial coatings and decorative finishes (to mention a few) and not forgetting millions of job offerings from the sector.Addressing journalists in Lagos to herald the 2019 Coatings Show holding next week, Abimbolu Sunday Babatunde, Chairman of Paint Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) stressed that their parent body, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has since voiced local manufacturers distaste for AfCFTA because of its injurious nature to growth of manufacturing in Nigeria and the economy in general.I can tell you that it was MAN that delayed the signing of AfCFTA in the first instance and was not informed before the president assented on behalf of the country, Babatunde lamented, saying that the development will sure make Nigeria a dumping ground as everybody is targeting it because of the market size.According PMAN, what will simply play out is that with the trade agreement, their products will find easy entry into the Nigerian market. This they said will not only give fair competition to local products, but also take away the much needed employment opportunities in the country and erode tax revenue for future development.
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