By Asmau Ahmad
The Commerce and Industry Correspondents’ Association of Nigeria (CICAN), has advised the Federal Government against making Nigeria a dumping ground as a result of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
The association also called for the support of all stakeholders towards repositioning the nation’s economy.
The association gave the advice on Sunday, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Frederick Idehai, to officially unveil activities ahead of its 2021 Annual Conference, scheduled for Abuja on October 15.
Mr Idehai urged Nigeria to take full advantage of AfCFTA implementation to ensure growth and national economic development.
He also emphasised the need for Nigeria to quickly diversify her economy, through exports and promotion of local agricultural commodities, among other quality policies and initiatives.
The chairman added that the conference would recommend to relevant authorities strategic ways to adopt in getting it right.
Idehai, who expressed concern over difficulties experienced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) due to COVID-19 pandemic, lauded various Federal Government interventions, especially the MSME’s Survival Fund established to cushion the devastating effects of the pandemic.
The conference has as its theme: “The role of Nigeria’s MSMEs, export, commodities, trade and investment in stabilising post-COVID-19 economy: Issues and Challenges”.
“The Place of AfCFTA in Nigeria’s economic diversification plan: pros & cons” and “FG’s MSMEs survival fund: successes, lessons, pitfalls”, are the sub-themes of the conference.
It would be declared open by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, and the state Minister Amb. Mariam Katagum.
Dignitaries expected at the conference include some state Governors and Chief Executives Officers of parastatal agencies under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, as well as other stakeholders.