By Michael Eboh
Businesses in the South-South region of the country, under the auspices of Coalition of South South Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, FOSSCCIMA, weekend, called on the Federal Government to immediately sign African Union Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, Agreement, based on its immense benefits to the country.
FOSSCCIMA made this call in its position paper made available to newsmen, signed by its President, Mr. Billy Gillis-Harry; Chairman Ad-Hoc Committee on AfCFTA, Mr. Emmanuel Avworo; Mr. Tammy Alaboh, Member; and Secretary, Mr. Legborsi Nwiabu.
The position, the group stated is intended to form part of the contribution of the Organised Private Sector, OPS, in Nigeria with regard to the subject matter.
FOSSCCIMA disclosed that the AfCFTA would provide an expanded market access for Nigeria’s exports of goods and services, covering a market of 1.2 billion Africans with a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion.
It further noted that the agreement would bring about increased growth in the Nigerian economy through an estimated economic welfare by 0.62 per cent, equivalent to approximately $2.9 billion in 2018, with an estimated 8.18 per cent increase in Nigeria’s total export.
It added that the AfCFTA would eliminate barriers against Nigeria’s products and services; support Nigeria’s Industrial and Competitiveness Policies, through negotiated and agreed ‘Exclusion and Sensitive lists’ for Nigeria’s infant industries.
The group declared that the AfCFTA is mutually supportive of Nigeria’s Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business, and would also boost job creation through increased intra-African Trade; and transformation of Nigeria from a ‘target economy’ to an ‘Africa Gateway Economy.’