The Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, has stated that the federal government is yet to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) because certain measures need to be in place for optimal achievement of its objectives.
Adebayo who spoke at the 16th Abuja International Trade Fair, yesterday in Abuja, explained that the government does not want the trade agreement to be like others the country has ventured into in the past without being specific.
Represented by the Director of Trades of the ministry, Aliyu Abubakar, the minister termed the trade pact as a landmark and mega trade agreement noting that it would enable the country to achieve a number of policy goals and objectives at the national, regional and continental levels.
“We don’t want this agreement to be like other agreements, we really want businesses in Nigeria to take advantage of it.
“Nigeria has signed and ratified the agreement, right now, we are in the process of implementation. Officially, the agreement has entered into force since January but we are still putting in place certain measures to implement to make sure we get it right. Efforts are ongoing at the national regional and continental level to implement the pact,” he said
He further reiterated the ministry’s commitment to partner with the chamber to achieve the objectives of the trade agreement and the ease of business in Nigeria in the areas of trade facilitation and promotion, investment and industrialization.
Earlier, the President of the chamber, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar noted that the private sector is a critical stakeholder in delivering on the benefits of AfcFTA as the federal government is grooming businesses for international trade.
Dr. Abubakar added that the chamber has embarked on a series of activities to strengthen the capacity of its members to be strong players at international level.
“Through our four centres, we emphasize capacity training for the export market, trans-national alternative dispute resolution, a programme for pro-business policy and gathering of stakeholders and in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to upscale the building capacity of export stakeholders.”