The Federal Government through the National Action Committee, African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) announced that it plans to grow export capacity of every state to the tune of $1.2 billion to take advantage of African continental free trade.
This was disclosed by the Secretary of the committee, Mr Francis Anatogu, on Monday during a joint news conference with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), in Abuja, on the AfCFTA Subnational Strategy Workshop scheduled to hold from Tuesday to Thursday in Abuja, according to NAN.
He revealed that the AfCFTA growth cannot be sustained without improving the capacity of the people which needs to be compatible with every states comparative advantage.
What the AfCFTA is saying
Anatogu disclosed that 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. He noted that the subnational strategy workshop would serve as an intervention that would put the nation on course to make the AfCFTA goal a reality for Nigeria.
He said, “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.
“This is with the goal of reaching an understanding of tailoring their economic and development plans to include the requirements of the AfCFTA.
“There is need to ensure that the groups 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 stated that 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 Jan. 1, 2021.
He added that the AfCFTA seeks to eliminate 90% of tariffs and reduce non-tariff barriers to enhance intra-African trade 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 re-energise our country’s aspirations for industrialisation 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.
“Traditionally, over 80% of imports in Africa are sourced from Europe, Asia and the Americas.
“For us, with Nigeria being greatly blessed with both natural and human resources, the AfCFTA drive is about looking inwards to push outwards,’’ Anatogu said.