Nigeria to engage in continental trade initiative – AfCFTA

Bisola David
Bisola David
Nigerians not aware of all opportunities provided by AfCFTA - Stakeholders

Nigeria’s National Working Committee for the African Continental Free Trade Area Executive Secretary, Segun Awolowo, has stated that the country is prepared to participate in the Guided Trade Initiative’s second phase.

The goal of the AfCFTA initiative is to facilitate commerce between interested state parties through the connection of companies and goods for export and import.

Awolowo revealed this during a meeting with a delegation from the AfCFTA Secretariat, according to a statement released on Thursday by the Head of the Strategic Communications Directorate of the National Working Committee of the AfCFTA, Mabel Aderonke.

As the AFCFTA will broaden Nigeria’s economic goals and objectives, Awolowo said that Nigeria’s commitment to the alliance is essential in fostering the country’s economic growth.

It said, in part, “We reached a milestone in the first phase of the GTI.” By influencing commerce between Nigeria and other AfCFTA member states, this effective pilot project has influenced beneficial development reforms, capacity-building activities, and economic growth.

“In order to demonstrate and enhance specific goals and trade relations as we get ready to enter the second phase, we should focus on lowering trade barriers, streamlining customs procedures, ensuring infrastructure, and encouraging value-adding with important industries.”

It also stated that the Renewed Hope agenda of the new administration is concentrated on tackling issues that obstruct commerce, such as enhancing logistics and transportation infrastructure. Streamlining customs processes and bolstering institutions that support trade.

“The checklist Ghana provided following the first phase’s completion calls for Nigeria to complete a number of obligations which Nigeria has begun to process vigorously.”

Director of Trade in Goods and Competition, Mohammed Ali, asserted that the AFCFTA is a large train traveling alongside Nigeria, which has the largest economy in Africa.

“The launch of the AfCFTA agreement was declared at a virtually convened meeting of heads of state and government in 2021.

He claimed that the AfCFTA is a massive train that is journeying, and this journey has leaders. Nigeria is the continent’s largest economy and has the biggest leader. Therefore, whatever action or effort Nigeria does in the direction of the AfCFTA constitutes two steps: one for Nigeria and one for the rest of the globe. That is therefore crucial.”

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, who was represented by Mr. Suleman Audu, stated in his speech that GTI will incorporate Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises into a larger supply chain as they won’t have to begin the process of obtaining facilities that are out of their price range.

MSMEs will develop and migrate from micro to large markets that many people would want to be a part of as they become a part of a broader supply chain.

While the Special Adviser to the President on Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr. John Nwajumogu, stated that although that’s a lofty goal, “we understand the complexities around it, but they are surmountable.”

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