AfCFTA: MAN wants FG address gaps in economic ecosystemBy Victoria Ojeme

The Federal Government says it will take advantage of the economic opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to create jobs as it builds a competitive economy.

The Director of the Investment Department of the Ministry of Industry, Trade   and investment, Mrs Olukemi Arodudu, told participants at a forum “for attracting investment for rural development in Nigeria” held in Abuja yesterday that Nigeria must be innovative to use the African market to the country’s advantage.

“It is time for Nigeria to decide her own fate by determining her   areas   of   comparative   advantages, laying   emphasis   on them, and directing the incoming foreign direct investments in to them for the good of our people,” she said.

The expert said if Nigeria must reap   maximum   benefit   from   the   African free market pact, the country must   tackle   the myriad of challenges of poverty, food   security,   threats   to   security   of   lives   and   property, unemployment and infrastructural decay amongst others, whichhas not only become compulsory, but also urgent.

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The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Nasiru Sani Gwarzo, said in these times when Africa   has   decided   to   pull   down   some   economic borders   and   become   one   large   market, individual   African nations   need   to   be   more   strategic   and   deliberate   in   their economic policies.

“Our neighbours are attracting investors, with the promise that they can produce in their countries and selling to Nigeria and they are offering diverse kinds of incentives to make that happen. To prevent Nigeria from becoming the dumping ground for goods   and   services   produced   in   our   sister   African   states, Nigeria has to be very deliberate and strategic henceforth, in her investment promotion and facilitation amongst others,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary said it is expedient for each state in the nation to come up with investment promotion strategies that will attract investment, boost internally generated revenue and help our SMEs to be competitive.


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