By Elizabeth Adegbesan
Amidst controversy over the benefits of Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the new trade environment will boost the country’s export by eight percent.
Osibanjo disclosed this at a conference organised by Financial Derivative Company in Lagos yesterday.
Represented by Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment stated: “The AfCFTA can transform Nigeria from a target economy to the gateway economy by boosting job creation through increased intra African trade and spurring growth through enhanced economic welfare with an estimated 8percent increase of Nigeria’s total export.”
He stated further, “In spite of the fact that Nigeria just only signed, AfCFTA in terms of readiness, we are not on ground zero. At $35.45billion Nigeria’s manufacturing value-added, a measure of capacity to produce and export semi and fully finished goods, is about 7 times more than the current average of the top 20 African countries.
“The concerns raised by some Nigerian stakeholders of the risks of AfCFTA are not without merit. Even prior to the agreement, policies of this administration had identified many of these priorities in the area of competiveness pillar under the economic, recovery and growth plan directly speaks to how infrastructure challenges and how reforms required to deliver an enabling business environment or businesses operating in Nigeria to thrive. And this has been on since 2016,” he added.