By Ossom Raphael
Abuja – The National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), has said that the first strategic goal in its implementation plan is to grow export capacity of every state in Nigeria to the tune of $1.2bn, with a focus on products where there is a competitive advantage.
Secretary of the Committee, Francis Anatogu, said the move is to ensure the country fully leverage on the continental deal to reposition the nation’s economy.
Anatogu, said this on Monday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on a three-day Nigeria/AfCTA sub-national strategic workshop which will commence on Tuesday in Nigeria’s capital.
The three-day workshop is organised in partnership with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum as an intervention to put the nation on course to make the goals a reality.
Anatogu, the main objectives of the AfCFTA are to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments.
He said: “These activities have also led to the realization that for the AfCFTA to be truly successful in Nigeria, there is a great need for the national strategy to be cascaded down to the subnational level with State governments playing a major role.
The first of the strategic goals in the implementation plan is to grow export capacity of every state to the tune of $1.2 billion with a focus on products where there is a competitive advantage”.
Anatogu, who doubles as the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Public Sector Matters, further said a draft implementation plan on AfCFTA has been developed to ensure effectiveness of the continental trade pact at the sub-national levels.
He explained that part of the implementation strategies is to help states build their capacities to participate actively in the single African market.
He called for states to channel their policies and build structures to ensure successful commencement of AfCFTA in the country.
“As you may be aware the AfCFTA agreement whose main objective is to promote export trade, deepen economic integration of the continent, create a single market for goods and services with free movement of Africans and investments among member countries came into effect on January 1st, 2021.
“This agreement seeks to eliminate 90% of Tariffs and reduce Non-Tariff barriers to enhance Intra-African trade across the continent and form the foundation of the establishment of a continental customs union thereby creating the largest single market in the world.
“For Nigeria, the AfCFTA will reenergize our country’s aspirations for industrialization and position Nigeria as the destination market for goods and services of the highest standards (finished or not) for the 1.2 billion consumers this agreement has brought to our door step.
Speaking further, he said the workshop will ensure the Technical Working Groups are aware of the support available from the Federal government to push the AfCFTA agenda.
“Over the next three days, the NAC-AfCFTA will create a platform to engage and interact with State Technical Working Groups expected to be in attendance, with the goal being to reach an understanding of tailoring their economic and development plans to include the requirements of the AfCFTA.
“It will also ensure the technical working groups [TWGs] are aware of the support available from the Federal government and lay the foundation for a single vision and strategy between Federal and State governments to push the AfCFTA agenda in Nigeria,” Anatogu said.
On his part, the Director General of the Nigerian Governors Forum Secretariat, Asishana Okauru, expressed the readiness of the 36 states governors in the country to key into the potentials of AfCFTA to turn around the fortunes of the country.
Okauru, harped on the importance of trade in the economic development of the country, saying that the chairman of the forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, has already shown uncommon passion to ensure a successful workshop and the continental trade deal in the country.
He said the Forum through one of its committee headed by Governor Mohammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State is also working to ensure relevant structures and policies are put in place to ensure that states successfully leverage on the AfCFTA deal.
Your help to our media platform will support the delivery of the independent journalism and broadcast the world needs. Support us by making any contribution. Your donation and support allows us to be completely focus, deeply investigative and independent. It also affords us the opportunity to produce more programmes online which is a platform universally utilised.
Please click link to make – DONATION