By Victoria Ojeme

Nigeria trade volume is projected to rise to $12 billion between 2023 and 2027 with the implementation of the The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This was disclosed at the Nigeria AfCFTA implementation strategy validation held in Lagos, where experts said that the agreement could also reduce trade cost by 20 per cent through the facilitation of the enactment of an omnibus bill on the AfCFTA.

Former Secretary, National Action Committee (NAC)-AfCFTA, Francis Anatogu said the agreement would execute trade facilitation and infrastructure programmes to improve competitiveness.

“We are validating the strategies and also sensitising businesses on choices for better positioning.

AfCFTA will grow trade value to $12bn, reduce trade cost by 20 per cent by facilitating enactment of an omnibus bill on AfCFTA.

“It will execute trade facilitations and infrastructure programmes to improve competitiveness. It will also grow productive capacity and export of arrowhead products and services.”

“AfCFTA will grow trade value to $12bn, reduce trade cost by 20 per cent by facilitating enactment of an omnibus bill on AfCFTA.

“It will execute trade facilitations and infrastructure programmes to improve competitiveness. It will also grow productive capacity and export of arrowhead products and services,” he said.

The Senior Adviser to the United Nations Economic Commission For Africa, (UNECA) Adeyinka Adeyemi said Speaking at the event, the Senior Adviser, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Adeyinka Adeyemi, in his opening address, said that the principle for success lay in strategy.

“Nigeria is not the only country. We have done this with a couple of countries in Africa. The way it works is that the country comes to us. You ask for support not because you do not have expertise within your country. As a matter of fact, the first document I saw on this was an impact assessment study done by Nigeria itself using Nigerian experts.

What value are we bringing to the table? Without a national strategy customised for your country, then there is a problem.”

A Consultant with UNECA, Prof. Bankole Abiodun said within the Strategy Document, policies that would need updating have been identified.

“Something else that is significant with what we are doing today is that trade is technical and complex so understanding how each company in Nigeria can trade and win is important.

“It is not enough to produce everything under the AfCFTA; the little that you produce can form an input for bigger production in Nigeria or a bigger part of Africa.

“It’s about collaboration with the rest of Africa and essential improving trade,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Evelyn Ngige, represented by the Director, Special Duties, Dr. Simon Omo-Ezomo said AfCFTA was poised to capture 10 per cent of its global imports to double Nigeria’s export revenue by 2035.

“Once the strategies are validated, it would be sent to the Chairman of the National Action Committee, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment and required approval of the Federal Executive Council,” she said.

She noted that at the end of the day, some of the policies would need to be backed by law leading to update of existing laws as well as creation of new laws to make sure Nigeria leads Africa in AfCFTA.

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