The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to lift over 100 million Africans out of poverty while increasing wages including those of women and unskilled workers, if implemented successfully.
The Director of Corporate Communications of the bank, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, disclosed this on Thursday, October 7, 2021, at the 16th International Trade Fair organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Mr Nwanisobi said that the apex bank’s primary goal was to restore economic stability by assisting individuals, SMEs, and major corporations that had been badly damaged by the pandemic, as well as the lockdown measures of the year 2020.
He said that the Anchor Borrowers Programme provided over N756 billion to 3.7 million farmers cultivating over 4.6 million hectares of farmland (ABP).
What they are saying
Mr Nwanisobi, who spoke on the theme, “Exploring the Opportunities of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” said:
“AfCFTA also provides Nigeria and other member countries with access to a large market, as the movement of capital, people, goods and services would become easier within the free trade area.
“Similarly, it will facilitate an increase in trade volumes, competitive prices and technological transfers among member countries; and serve as a potential to boost intra-African trade, lift over one hundred (100) million Africans out of poverty while increasing wages including those of women and the unskilled workers if implemented successfully.
“At the Central Bank, we continue to take active steps and make policies to encourage growth and sound financial system, which would foster economic development, restore confidence in the economy and effectually conserve the reserves.”
He urged Nigerians to focus on the production of items in which the nation had comparative advantage “…and also buy Nigerian products to grow Nigeria as a nation that is totally self-sufficient in producing what we consume and creating jobs for our youth will ultimately drive sustainable growth that will make life better for all our citizens.”
The apex bank spokesman assured that the institution, under the leadership of its Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, would “not rest on its oars until Nigeria gets to its destination of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.”