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AfCFTA to commence in January

The Federal Government says the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA largely depends on the active participation of the Private Sector.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo stated this during a virtual sensitization for the organized private sector on implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area.

The African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA seeks to create a single market for goods and services with free movement persons, capital, businesses, elimination of tariff among others thereby boosting Intra-African trade.

In preparation for its take off on January 1, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari set up the National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area, NAC, to coordinate actions and programmes that would ensure its successful implementation.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo explained that as Nigeria prepares for the implementation of AfCfTA, the full involvement of the private sector was key.

‘’It is widely acknowledged that the private sector must lead the AfCFTA implementation for sustained success and our objective is to explore the organized private sector on the priority readiness interventions for successful implementation’’ Otunba Adebayo stated.

Otunba Adebayo highlighted some of the interventions already made in preparation for the implementation to include implementation strategies, sensitization of diverse stakeholder groups on the benefits of the AfCFTA and robust sales drive mechanism.

Executive Secretary of the National Action Committee, Francis Anatogu said Nigeria targets to increase her export to fifty billion Dollars by 2030, to be the most preferred supplier of specific products and services as well as address security and border issues to improve competiveness with our neighbors.

Mr. Anatogu who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the President on public sector matters, said for Nigeria to fully benefit from the free trade area, trade policies and regulations must be updated, border enforcement and the need to facilitate ease of doing business.

The President of Manufacturers Association, Mr. Mansur Ahmed urged the Committee to identify and work more on those sectors that Nigeria has competitiveness advantage to enable the country to gain from the investment.

There were good will messages from other stakeholders who pledged their support and harped on more sensitization of implementation strategies.

Patience Olumati

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