By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement has been described as the best way to correct the present trade and investment deficit currently militating against industrial development of the country.
The observation was made by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo while speaking in Bauchi during the NATIONWIDE AWARENESS AND SENSITISATION TOUR on effective ways of doing business by Nigerians.
Represented by the Director, Trade, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar who led the delegation said that the visit to Bauchi was discuss with the state government on how to adopt strategy for the implementation of the african continental free trade area for the benefit of the state.
He said that, “Your Excellency, we are here to engage with you and other stakeholders to see how we can work together. The African We are here to engage with you and other stakeholders to see how we can work together. The African Continental Free Trade Area is a market of about over billion people. It has growth domestic GDP of four billion US dollars, so it is an opportunity for Nigeria to trade under the agreement.”
In its resolve to create Awareness on the ease of doing transnational trade, the National Action Committee on
He added that nationwide awareness and sensitisation tour was in line with its mandate to prepare Nigeria to take advantage of the AfCFTA Agreement while mitigating its threats to the Nigerian economy.
While Speaking, Francis Anatogu, Secretary, the National Action Committee on AfCFTA said that, “the mandate of the National Action Committee is to coordinate the activities of private and public sector at Federal and Sub-National levels to implement AfCFTA for benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians”.
Francis Abatogu added that, “Our strategy is to work with the states based on their areas of comparative advantages and priorities as a way of building up our national export trade and creating jobs at grassroot level” .
According to him, “The core objective of the AfCFTA is to create a single market for goods, services, and free movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration of the African continent”.
He added that, “The AfCFTA is expected to deliver an integrated continental market of 1.27 billion consumers with aggregate GDP of USD3.4 trillion. Nigeria constitutes a significant portion of these figures largely spread across our states”.
Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in Niamey, Niger on 7 July 2019 to promote intra-African trade with other African countries. On November 11, 2020, the Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of the agreement demonstrating Nigeria is on course to participate in trading under the AfCFTA.
It will be recalled that trading under the AfCFTA commenced on January 1st 2021 thereby making the National Action Committee on AfCFTA to be working with relevant agencies to establish structures and processes to implement the rules of origin and other arrangements to enable businesses to commence trading under AfCFTA terms.
It is expected that With the nationwide sensitisation, the National Action Committee on AfCFTA is taking the message of AfCFTA to the states and grassroots levels where the bulk of Nigeria’s wealth, both natural resources and human talent and economic activities are domiciled.
The nationwide awareness and sensitisation exercise set to cover all 36 States and FCT as contained in a statement by Zakari Jimeta,Communication Coordinator, National Action Committee on AfCFTA
The AfCFTA nationwide awareness and sensitization tour in Bauchi featured a courtesy call on the State Governor, Sen Bala Muhammed at the Government House and followed by meetings with public and private sector stakeholders in the State, including trade and professional associations in the State.