The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, says that improving guidance on quality and standards, leveraging technology, organization design, and optimization can make Nigeria a net beneficiary of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Minister disclosed this on Wednesday while giving his remarks at the virtual annual conference of the Institute of Directors (IOD), where he was the Guest of Honour.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported in September that Mr. Adebayo said Nigeria was in the process of securing approval to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement soon.
The Trade Minister also disclosed that Nigeria is actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries to meet the demands of the AfCFTA.
The Minister added that Nigeria’s investment priorities are:
- Promoting digital economy, “considering its potential for growth, job creation, and mitigating the impact of COVID-19.”
- Domesticating production through various sectoral backward integration plans.
- Exploring opportunities to boost renewable energy financing across the country.
In Wednesday’s meeting with the Institute, the Minister disclosed that the pandemic has brought the need to ensure the survival of existing businesses and attracting more foreign investment.
He added that the Institute can help in improving standards of MSMEs which would benefit Nigeria’s position in the African Free Trade Agreement.
“We understand that the institute can play a significant role in mentoring MSMEs, especially by providing guidance on quality and standards, leveraging technology, organization design, and optimization, and even financing options that will help them mature and become true drivers of economic growth.
“It is obvious that getting this right also positions Nigeria to be a net beneficiary when we fully commence the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement next year.
“We welcome suggestions and input on how best to make these programs work and we are fully committed to supporting the institute, where necessary,” he said.