The National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has commenced a nationwide awareness and sensitisation tour in line with its mandate to prepare Nigeria to take advantage of the continental agreement.
According to a statement, the AfCFTA nationwide awareness and sensitisation tour was expected to kick-off from Kaduna State with a courtesy call on Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai followed by meetings with public and private sector stakeholders, including trade and professional associations in the State. Thereafter, the team would proceed to Bauchi State, according to the statement, with visit to other states to follow subsequently.
Speaking on the awareness programme, Secretary, the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Francis Anatogu, said, “Our mandate at 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.
“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 grass root level”.
According to him, “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 in July 2019 to promote intra-African trade with other African countries.
In November 2020, the Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of the agreement demonstrating Nigeria is on course to participate in trading under the AfCFTA.
Trading under the AfCFTA commenced on January 1, 2021.