Katsina, Borno, Kebbi governors commend Buhari on AfCFTA agreement
Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Babagana Zulum (Borno) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) pact.
They said the agreement would increase the country’s volume of trade and boost the local economy, insisting that Nigerians will benefit from the deal, as the country joins other African countries in the pact. The governors, who were part of the President’s delegation to the 12th Extra Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) on the Launch of Operational Phase of AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger Republic, told State House correspondents yesterday that necessary measures should be put in place to ensure that Nigeria derives maximum benefits from the deal.
Governor Masari stressed the need for capacity building to enable manufacturers to produce high quality goods that could compete favorably with other countries. He said: “I think it’s very important because Africa is a big market of 1.2 billion consumers and with the capability, industry and entrepreneurship, some may use Africa prices to engage in packaging instead of producing.
“So, I believe it’s a big opportunity for Nigeria. The market is there, the opportunities are here and with the level of entrepreneurship in Nigeria, I believe we will take full advantage of the agreement.”Speaking, Governor Zulum noted that Borno State borders Niger, Cameroon and Chad, and as such, some of the free trade zones would be established in the state to improve the means of livelihood of displaced communities.
“Trade volume within the state will also increase and this will further improve the socio-economic well-being of Borno people.“This will also ease trade among African nations and it was established that prices of commodities will come down, access to some commodities that we lack in the region and in Nigeria in particular could be obtained and some of the bureaucratic bottlenecks with respect to customs and others will be reduced,” he said.
On his part, Governor Bagudu, who described President Buhari’s signing of AfCFTA as a momentous occasion, allayed fears that the agreement would lead to dumping of goods in Nigeria. “The consultations with organised private sector, relevant agencies and individuals have brought out the kind of work and synergy we need to put together so that Nigeria can do better under the trade treaty.
“It will also help us to ensure that whatever tariff agreement we enter into is such that will prohibit dumping and does not discriminate against us, especially for a country like Nigeria, which has suffered the brunt of dumping– from rice to poultry and milk – that has threatened our industries,” he added.
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