By Ugo Aliogo
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged manufacturers and Nigeria’s industrious youths to exploit the opportunities offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to create wealth and boost the country’s economy.
In a statement, Obaseki applauded the commencement of trading under the AfCFTA on January 1, 2021, describing it as a milestone achievement in boosting Africa’s economy amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic challenges.
He said that his administration would continue to assist local manufacturers and youths in the state with capacity building programmes, conducive work environment and other incentives to make them competitive and position them to reap maximum benefits from trading under the AfCFTA.
According to the governor, “We are encouraging creative young talents and local manufacturers in Edo State to tap from the offerings from the AfCFTA. We are expanding capacity at the Edo Production Centre and the Edo Innovation Hub so that we can build an army of productive young people to grab the opportunities offered. We have success stories from these facilities already. We have already initiated the Edo Tech Park project as another veritable launch pad. We are confident that these initiatives would empower our people to create wealth and employment opportunities to improve the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He added that with the production and innovation hubs, 24/7 power supply provided by the Ossiomo Power Plant and enabling business environment, manufacturers in Edo can benefit the most from the new trading agreement in Africa.
“We are not relenting in providing support for individuals and groups to export their products and services and participate in the new continental trading agreement,” he stressed
According to the assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, “The commencement of trading under the AfCFTA on January 1, 2021 is one of the most significant milestones in the continental integration project which will also improve the prospects of Africa as an attractive investment destination.”