Lagos State’s Efforts Towards AfCFTA Awareness

The Lagos State Technical Working Group (STWG) responsible for overseeing the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has initiated a program aimed at sensitizing stakeholders and local communities about the advantages offered by the continental trade agreement. Led by Mrs. Adetutu Ososanya, FCA, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives (MCIC), the group embarked on a tour to various locations within Lagos State to promote awareness and participation.

Importance of the Sensitization Efforts

Mrs. Ososanya emphasized the significance of these awareness initiatives, highlighting that Lagos State cannot afford to be left behind in the AfCFTA process. The State Technical Working Group has a mandate to mobilize grassroots involvement in AfCFTA, and their visit aimed to unite stakeholders in this endeavor. The State Government, led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is committed to creating opportunities for the people to engage with AfCFTA.

Call for Stakeholder Support

The Permanent Secretary called for the collaboration and support of all stakeholders, stressing that collective efforts are essential to ensure that Lagos State benefits from AfCFTA and that indigenous entrepreneurs reap the rewards.

Efforts by Lekki Free Zone Development Company

The Deputy Managing Director of the Lekki Free Zone Development Company acknowledged the importance of increasing local production capacity to meet export requirements under AfCFTA. The company has been actively working toward this goal by providing factory units for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enhance production for export.

Support from Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC)

The Regional Coordinator of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Akintunde Folorunso, expressed optimism about the potential benefits that AfCFTA could bring to Lagos State. The Group is dedicated to ensuring visibility for local products and services and is ready to assist producers by providing necessary support and implementing a Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism for performance assessment.

NASME’s Perspective

Dr. Adams Adebayo, Chairman of the Lagos State Branch of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), outlined the Group’s mission, which involves assessing how entrepreneurs operate and helping them improve. The goal is to guide them in adopting appropriate technology, increasing their capacity, enhancing market access, and reducing wastage. Dr. Adebayo also emphasized the importance of establishing storage and preservation facilities at Export Processing Zones to facilitate MSMEs in exporting their products.

Alaro City’s Role

The Chief Operating Officer of Alaro City expressed gratitude for the partnership between Alaro City and the State Government. He noted that Alaro City has been actively working within the Free Zone space to domesticate production processes and support entrepreneurs in Lagos State.

Participants in the Sensitization Tour

Accompanying the Permanent Secretary on the sensitization tour were key figures from various organizations, including the Regional Coordinator of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, a representative from the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, the Chairman of the Lagos State Branch of the National Association of Small and Business Enterprises (NASME), the Director of Trade from the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Head of Administration from the Ikeja Branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. Additionally, several members of the Management and Staff of MCIC were part of the delegation.

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