FG inaugurates panel on CFTA deal, promotion of investments
Preparatory to the commencement of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) deal, the Federal Government has inaugurated a twenty-one man national committee to negotiate the deal as well as identify opportunities to promote investments in the economy.
The federal government noted that the move will help to moderate, diversify and grow the Nigerian economy as well as rebrand infrastructure for the country’s trade policy and produce welfare gains and development while reinforcing the process of national economy recovery.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah who said a negotiation team was set up to identify the opportunities and challenges facing the country in while trading with other African countries.
His words: “We need to grow and modernize the Nigerian economy through African trade integration. This would require focus, discipline, organization, determination and the exercise of that famous entrepreneurial spirit for which Nigerians are renowned the world-over”.
At their summit in 2012, African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government decided to establish a Continental Free Trade Area, as part of a plan to industrialize the Continent by 2063 as well as boost Intra-Africa trade, currently, at only 19 percent.
Nigeria’s goal with the CFTA is to create win-win partnerships that will drive inward investment; support Nigerian exporters of goods and services to secure expanded market access in other African economies; and create jobs for Nigerians.
The executive secretary of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Olusegun Awolowo said the sole interest of ambassadors and foreign nationals who had visited the agency was to promote their export which is Nigeria’s import.
He said it is high time the tide was turned and Nigeria made strong enough to promote its own exports.Awolowo said the country has all what it takes to be self-reliant and still export its excess.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, the Vice-chancellor of Veritas University Abuja, Professor Michael Kwanashie advised that government should have inclusive programmes that would encourage citizens to have a stake in the whole process of governance, adding that all intentions of government should connote national interest.