AfCTA: Senate asks FG to develop national industrial policy, infrastructure master plan

The Senate on Thursday urged the Federal Government to develop a national industrial policy and infrastructural development masterplan for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.

It equally called on the Federal Government to create more economic zones to reduce the cost of production in the country.

The Senate took the resolutions at Thursday’s plenary after considering a motion by Senator Barau Jibrin, ( Kano North)  on Nigeria’s membership of AfCTA .

President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed the AfCTA at the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union held in Niamey, Niger Republic.

The Senate urged the Federal Government to pay extra attention to the existing industrial hubs by creating necessary infrastructure within the areas to encourage investors while mandating the relevant agencies to enlighten the Nigeria business community to leverage on the immense benefits of the agreement.

The upper legislative chamber also urged the Federal Government to continue its policy of improving on infrastructures such as electricity, roads and other basic necessities.

It noted that the provision of infrastructure would bring about a reduction in the cost of production and ultimately make locally produced goods globally competitive.

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The upper legislative chamber equally asked the Federal Government to be the main driving force for the success of Nigeria’s membership by ensuring that policies and programmes are in large part consistent with the mission and vision of the Agreement.

Specifically, the senators asked the government to ensure that policies and programmes are a large part of the nation’s system for the vision and mission of the agreement.

It also asked the apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN)  to create an enabling monetary policy environment for us to take advantage of the just signed AfCTA agreement.

Senator  Ahmad Lawan, while commenting AfCTA said: “This particular agreement is going to spur us into ensuring that we take the appropriation of 2020 more seriously and we have to be more focused.

“Those areas that were challenged must be addressed for businesses to get the conducive environment of employment opportunities, wealth creation and so many other things that will be to the benefit of our people.

“I believe that we can do this together with the executive arm of government.”