The Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has urged the National Action Committee on Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA and other relevant MDAs to institute formal framework for engagement between National, State and Local actors with a view to ensuring the country’s approach to AfCFTA is a national strategy.
Mrs Ahmed who was represented by Deputy Director Public Private Partnership, Jumai Katagum said this during a three-day subnational strategy workshop put together by the National Action Committee and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF in Abuja.
The Minister said “For Nigeria to maximally exploit the opportunity presented by the AfCFTA, all economic sector tiers of government and human capacities must be evidently involved.
The ongoing workshop and technical session is in furtherance of the National consultation across the states which were undertaken between March and June 2021″.
She added that at the end of the workshop, results in policy recommendations to assist states and local government identify and harness areas of competitive advantages should be acquired.
The Chairman, National Economic Council for sub-nationals, Mr Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar noted that for sub-nationals to benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA, they must be actively participating in the global value chain.
Mr Badaru who is also the Governor of Jigawa state said the AfCFTA provides immense opportunities for Nigeria’s service companies to expand in Africa, especially those in financial services, e-commerce and the digital economy.
According to Mr Badaru, “It provides huge export opportunities for products manufactured in Nigeria including priority export products defined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).
The agreement will liberalize education, health and transport services which are estimated at about $13.
2bn net imports as at 2017”.
The Governor however urged the Federal and State governments to encourage structural transformation and value chain optimization including the development of industrial and agricultural processing zones.
“Strengthen regulations and quality control of products produced in the country so that they are highly competitive by collaborating with agencies like NAFDAC and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
” Mr Badaru emphasized.
Nigerian government to institute formal framework to participate in AfCFTA