Economy

Nigerian government urged to domesticate african trade agreement

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it is providing one billion dollars grant to African countries to support the implementation of the Agreement for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has charged the Federal Government to domesticate the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) so as to enable the country to benefit from the full implementation of the agreement.

Domestication of AfCFTA implies that the National Assembly must pass a law to make the operation of the treaty legal in the country, as any treaty (including AfCFTA) is not legally enforceable until an Act of the Assembly.

The National President of NACCIMA, Ide Udeaghala, who disclosed this at a Press Conference in Lagos, noted that the law from the Legislature supporting the trade agreement has become necessary if the country must tap into the opportunities presented by the trade agreement.

Udeagbala, who admitted there were concerns by various stakeholders on the risk of Nigeria becoming a dumping ground of products due to the consumption patterns of its large population and market, added that why the concerns are valid, Nigeria will benefit more if the necessary safeguards are put in place.

He urged the organised private sector (OPS) to establish offensive and defensive strategies in collaboration with the Federal Government to take advantage of the safeguard measures inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The NACCIMA boss stressed the need to go into more market intelligence activities while the Nigeria Economic Diplomacy Initiative (NEDi) can be used to mitigate the risk of abuse of the AfCFTA.

He advised that the nation’s borders should be well secured, urging operators to accord border security the highest priority in all advocacy activities of the organised private sector with regard to the AfCFTA, in view of Nigeria’s porous borders and its various illegal crossing points.

Also speaking, First Deputy President of NACCIMA, Dele Oye, said the continuing revolution in digitisation and technology is impacting on the conduct of businesses and many have adapted to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, to harness technology for productivity and profitability in all sectors.

In his response, the Second Deputy President, NACCIMA, Jani Ibrahim, explained that the association wants operators to always emphasise Made-in-Nigeria goods in every stage of all value chains, as this would ensure the resilience of the Nigerian enterprise in competing under the AfCFTA.

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