By Providence Emmanuel
LAGOS — GOVERNOR Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area, ACFTA pact.
Ambode said this at the Lagos State Government 2nd National Committee on export promotion meeting in Lagos.
His words: “Export does not make itself; it is an integral part of a total package. Nigeria is one of the two countries that are left to sign the ACFTA. Typically, we are going round to ask whether we should join or not, who does that? We should have joined since yesterday.
“Nigeria should show leadership, the whole of Africa is waiting for Nigeria, so if you have the largest GDP and you have overtaken South Africa what are you waiting for? You must show an example and the truth is that if you want to export, you must create the African Union. We must be the Germany of Africa because if we don’t drive the economy of Africa, it is not going to drive itself.
“The bottom line is that, if we are driving an export policy that is going to make us earn income, it is not about looking at Europe or China, they are not going to buy from us first. Africa must sell to Africa first. The cornerstone of our export policy should be Africa. Just like our foreign policy. You must own and like yourself first. That is how it is in the world.
“I believe strongly that the export policy strategy is another way to drive Nigeria on the map of the world and that is the only way we can continue to bring ourselves together..”
On his part, Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, said that the only growth Nigeria had in 2017 was the non-oil export and agric export.
He said: “I have always looked out for investment in industry and manufacturing. The foreign direct investment that has come to Nigeria has come to chase funds, financial services, and telecommunication services. There are very few in industry and manufacturing and that is why we are working for NIPC. We are looking for investment in manufacturing and industry, both FDI and Domestic Direct Investment,, DDI.”
“But then, you must tell the world the kind of investment you looking for, if not they will give you what they have to give you.”