AFCFTA prepares states for African larger market
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo has said that opportunities abound for states of the country to explore agricultural potentials and other products in a larger African market.
The minister however assured that Nigeria would not become a dumping ground for unidentified products from other Africa countries.
Speaking as head of the National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) to Delta state on a 2-Day tour, Mr Adebayo said Delta was the sixth so far visited to discuss the opportunities abound for made in Nigeria products.
The minister who was represented by the Director of Trade in the ministry, Mr Aliyu Abubakar told newsmen in Asaba that the mechanism for settlement and dispute resolutions were also put in place by AFCFTA to ensure peace among African countries.
He said other countries through the AFCFTA have agreed to liberalise 90 per cent of their products to the market.
“While the remaining 10 per cent is left under special and sensitive products that they may wish to keep.
“But the main objective of the agreement is to liberalise trade so that African countries can trade more among themselves and through that African economies will be integrated.
“As regarding the flooding of the market with substandard products, there are mechanisms in place in the agreement.
“The rule of origin is a criterion where participating countries must source their products locally. There is also a provision to guided against transhipment of products outside the African market.
” I will not speak for Delta but as a state, they have a major stake, products and services that are competitive and they can key into the Continental Free Trade Agreement and export them.
“That is why we are working with state government’s to identify products of comparative advantage to ensure that all the various programmes and initiatives on exports will add value to enable it to go into the African market,” Adebayo said.
Secretary of the Committee and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Sector Matters, Mr Francis Anatogu, said that AfCTAN came to grow the African market like the intra- European market.
According to him, the EU intra-trade is about 65 per cent while Africa is about 15 per cent.
The Chief Economic Adviser to Gov Ifeanyi Okowa, Dr Kingsley Emu who lauded the committee and the AfCFTA for getting the country to sign in, said it was an opportunity for private individuals to explore the opportunities at the larger market.
According to Emu, the trade and job creation ability of the agreement would be unprecedented in Africa.
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