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).

Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, a Senior Lecturer at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, on Tuesday said Nigeria should step up efforts on expanding its non-oil exports to compete favourably with its peers in Africa.

Tella spoke to newsmen in Lagos while reacting to Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) by Nigeria on July 7.

Newsmen report that Nigeria became the 53rd country to sign the agreement on AfCFTA.

According to Tella, if Nigeria can develop its non-oil exports it will be easier to get customers within Africa.

“If Dangote is able to come up with his refinery, then he can leverage the AfCFTA to sell products across Africa.”

The don said that the agreement would be of immense benefit to the country in the medium to long-term than in the short-term period.

“My fear is that if oil continues to rise at the international market, there is the tendency for the country to shift attention away from the non-oil exports,’’ Tella said.

Newsmen report that President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign the AfCFTA agreement in 2018 to allow for robust discussion on its economic and security implications for Nigeria.

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