The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has reportedly opposed moves by Morocco to be admitted into the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
At its 45th annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos yesterday, MAN warned the Federal Government against supporting Morocco, as it would have negative effects on Nigeria.
The MAN President, Frank Udemba Jacobs, noted that admitting Morocco into ECOWAS would be equivalent to signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
“We urge the Federal Government to oppose the move as it would spell doom for the productive sector of the economy. We are aware Morocco and the European Union (EU) have a trade agreement, which means if it becomes part of ECOWAS, products that come into Morocco from EU will end up in Nigeria. After all, Nigeria is the biggest market in ECOWAS…We are telling our government not to allow it become part of ECOWAS. ECOWAS is Economic States of West African States, but Morocco is not part of West Africa. It shouldn’t be part of ECOWAS.”
MAN outlined three key challenges to be addressed for the productive sector to boom: Inadequate and unstable power; unavailability of foreign exchange for importation; and high interest rates.
“We recommend, as the association has done in the past and always, a single-digit interest rate.”
The Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) also called on the Nigeria to resist attempts by member countries of ECOWAS to admit Morocco into the regional body.
Founding Chairman and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ignatius C. Olisemeka warned that Morocco’s motive was political, aimed at whittling down Nigeria’s role in the admission of Western Sahara into the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU).