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AfCFTA: Continental free trade will reduce value erosion of naira – FG

Anatogu who was speaking in an interview expressed optimism over Nigeria’s a signing of AfCFTA.

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African free trade will boost development of manufacturing in Nigeria - NEPC, Head of States at African Continental Free Trade Agreement

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will reduce the erosion of the naira, which has suffered nearly 90% devaluation since 2016, through exports of Nigerian made goods and services, and give exposure of the naira to other currencies.

This was disclosed by Mr. Francis Anatogu, Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA, in an interview with TVC News on Friday afternoon.

On concerns about dumping with the AfCFTA

Mr. Anatogu said, “As a nation, we recognized the need to diversify from oil; we need to improve exports to grow our GDP,”

He added that Nigeria was meant to take preemptive actions before joining the WTO, like the creation of a trade remedy mechanism. He said trade remedy is an area that has been identified by the National Action Committee to ensure Nigeria is not used for dumping.

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“We are starting with short term measures (trade remedies), and eventually submitting the bill to the National Assembly,”

Nairametrics reported last week that the FG is working on trade remedies to protect Nigerian producers from unfair and injurious trade practices from foreign companies that harm domestic industries, which are key factors for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This was disclosed on Thursday by the Head, Trade Remedies Unit National office for Trade Negotiations, Tola Onayemi, at the AfCFTA Sensitization Seminar, organized by the National Action Committee of the implementation of the agreement.

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On Nigeria’s preparedness for the AfCFTA

Mr. Anatogu said, “We understand how to deal with preferential trade, and are in a better position than a number of African countries.”

Naiarametrics also reported last week that Yewande Sadiku, CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said Nigeria is more ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), due to Nigeria’s domestic market manufacturing value addition capacity, which is 7 times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa and other.

Mr. Anatogu cited the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization measures, which is not perfect, however, the FG understands the gaps and specific actions that need to be in place to close it.

“Even as trade starts, implementation will take longer time; when implementation is agreed, it needs to be quoted in tariff books,”

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He said preferential treatment won’t be automatic, as products entering Nigeria needs to meet the rule of origin criteria.

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On benefits of AfCFTA to Nigerian Manufacturing industry

Mr. Anatogu says that Africa imports $250billion worth of goods on an annual basis, and it would do Nigerian manufacturers more harm than good to take advantage of African trade.

“We are going into Africa without paying duties, it will give us an advantage over products that come from outside of Africa,”

He adds that’s it’s a win-win situation for Nigeria, as trades would also boost the value of the naira.

“Since 2016, naira devaluation is about 90%, from a business perspective, how would you stop value erosion? The way to do that is by exporting whatever we produce to Africa, which gives exposure to other currencies,” he said.

He added that manufactured products won’t be the only thing exported, as Services is also a factor.

“We need to play to our strengths, we have banks, movies and lots of informal services trade with Africa. We need to amplify this trade, we need to increase production. A sustainable way to do it is through exports, to maintain the value of wealth, you need exposure to foreign trade,” he concluded.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 27th of October 2020, 113 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 62,224 confirmed cases.

On the 27th of October 2020, 113 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,326 samples across the country.

To date, 62,224 cases have been confirmed, 57,916 cases have been discharged and 1,135 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 614,480 tests have been carried out as of October 27th, 2020 compared to 612,154 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 62,224
  • Total Number Discharged – 57,916
  • Total Deaths – 1,1135
  • Total Tests Carried out – 614,480

According to the NCDC, the 113 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (51), FCT (15), Plateau (11), Kaduna (8), Oyo (8), Rivers (8), Ogun (4), Edo (2), Imo (2), Kwara (2), Delta (1), Kano (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,935, followed by Abuja (6,008), Plateau (3,614), Oyo (3,433), Rivers (2,781), Edo (2,654), Kaduna (2,625), Ogun (2,014), Delta (1,813), Kano (1,743), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (923), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (479), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (140), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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ENDSARS

Oyo sets up N500 Million fund each for youth entrepreneurs, compensation for victims of police brutality

Governor Seyi Makinde plans to disburse N500 million fund to youth entrepreneurs in Oyo state.

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Oyo sets up N500 Million fund each for youth entrepreneurs, compensation for victims of police brutality, #EndSARS: State Governors should have necessary powers to control the Police Force - Seyi Makinde, Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 Billion plan for water supply

Oyo State Government has directed that a N500 million MSME fund be set up to fund youth entrepreneurs in the State with bright business ideas

This was disclosed by Governor Seyi Makinde while speaking at the Post-Protest Meeting with Traditional Rulers and other Stakeholders, held at Agodi, Ibadan.
According to the Governor, the fund will provide further employment and improve the economic landscape in Oyo State.
The Governor also approved N500 million as compensation to victims of police brutality and injustice. This fund is to encourage anyone who has suffered any form of injustice in the past or as a result of the #EndSARS protests.
He said, “I have directed that a N500 Million MSME fund be set up. This fund will be disbursed to youths who have bright entrepreneurial ideas that will provide further employment and improve the economic landscape in Oyo State.”
Let me also state that we have set up an initial Five Hundred Million Naira (N500million) Compensation Fund for victims of injustice.
“So, I encourage everyone who has suffered any form of injustice in the past or as a result of the #EndSARS protests, to please take advantage of the platforms we have provided to log their cases.
“We have an email service and a direct reporting portal on the Oyo State Government website. A judicial panel for Oyo State will be inaugurated in the next one week to look into cases of injustice.”
He stated further, “We know that the protests have been a result of simmering anger among the youths. We are aware of the economic situation, especially the reduced income of many due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also the general unemployment situation in the country. Let me reassure you that we will continue to prioritize actions that will positively impact the youths.”

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ENDSARS

VP Osinbajo leads Committee to address unemployment, poverty among others

The National Economic Council (NEC) is ready to address the concerns of youths and Nigerians at large.

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VP Osinbajo leads Committee to address unemployment, poverty among others

After over four hours of deliberations at the emergency meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), a Committee was set up to meet the needs and demands of Nigerian youths behind the #EndSARS protests. The head of the Committee is Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

This information is contained in the circular issued by the National Economic Council and shared by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity to the Vice President.

READ: KPMG report blames FIRS, others over ₦8 trillion under-remittance into Federation accounts

According to Akande, the Joint Committee was consequently set up by Osinbajo, SAN, to work with State governments represented by the Governors of Ebonyi, Ondo, Niger, Delta, Borno and the Sokoto States to implement the resolutions of the emergency meeting.

The National Executive Council during the meeting affirmed an unequivocal belief and assurance that most members of the nation’s security personnel are law-abiding and are capable of restoring law and order in the country.

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READ: CBN to sanction exporters who default on export proceed number

What you should know

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The Joint Committee set-up by the NEC, to see to the implementation of the following frameworks and the given objectives:

• Framing of a new security and stability architecture for the country.

• A framework of engagement with the youths, civil society, and religious leaders, in a bid to promote national unity.

READ: 2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review

• A framework to engage with security agencies that will devolve more control to State governors who are the chief security officers of their states.

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• A framework for the Federal Government to provide compensation for those who have incurred losses in the last few weeks.

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• A social security framework for the youths and Nigerians to deal with the problem of unemployment and poverty in the country.

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