By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
In a move to explore the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement for increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and job creation for the teaming youths population, the Nasarawa State Government says it would establish a commodity marketing board for the state.
The State Governor, Abdullahi Sule made the disclosure while playing host to the delegation of the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA at the State’s Government House in Lafia.
The members of National Action Committee were in the State as part of it nationwide awareness and sensitisation tour in line with the Committee’s mandate to prepare Nigerians to take advantage of the single continental market while mitigating its threats to the Nigerian economy.
Governor Sule said, his administration was going to key into the initiative to harness all the needed potentials, both natural and han resources for the economic prosperity of the state.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Emmanuel Akabe added that the state would domesticate the policies of the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA for robust economic activities.
Sule stated that, his government was going to identify commodities abounds in the state for exports through Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency.
Speaking, the Chairman, National Action Committee on the AfCFTA and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo urged the state governments to explore opportunities in the AfCFTA to grow it IGR through export of goods and services to other parts of the continent.
The Minister represented by Abubakar Aliyu Dangaladima, Director of Weight and Measures of the Ministry also held sensitisation meetings with public and private sector players in the State, including MSME owners, professional bodies, trade and manufacturer associations.
Francis Anatogu, Secretary, the National Action Committee on AfCFTA said, “the mandate of the National Action Committee is to coordinate the activities of private and public sector at Federal and Sub-National levels to implement AfCFTA for benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians”.
According to Anatogu, “our strategy is to work with the states based on their areas of comparative advantages and priorities as a way of building up our national export trade and creating jobs at grassroots level.
“The core objective of the AfCFTA is to create a single market for goods, services, and free movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration of the African continent.
“The AfCFTA is expected to deliver an integrated continental market of 1.27 billion consumers with aggregate GDP of USD3.4 trillion. Nigeria constitutes a significant portion of these figures largely spread across our states”.
“Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in Niamey, Niger on 7 July 2019 to promote intra-African trade with other African countries. On November 11, 2020, the Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of the agreement demonstrating Nigeria is on course to participate in trading under the AfCFTA”, Anatogu said.
It will be recalled that trading under the AfCFTA commenced on January 1st 2021. In this regard, the National Action Committee on AfCFTA is working with relevant agencies to establish structures and processes to implement the rules of origin and other arrangements to enable businesses to commence trading under AfCFTA terms.
With the nationwide sensitisation, the National Action Committee on AfCFTA is taking the message of AfCFTA to the states and grassroots levels where the bulk of Nigeria’s wealth, both natural resources and human talent and economic activities are domiciled.