By Igbawase Ukumba
The Nasarawa State Government has concluded plans to establish a commodity marketing board as part of moves to explore the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement for increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and job creation for the teeming youth population.
Governor Abdullahi Sule made the disclosure Thursday at the Government House, Lafia while playing host to a delegation from the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA who were in the state as part of the nationwide awareness and sensitisation tour.
The AfCFTA tour of the state was 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, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, added that the state will domesticate the policies of the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA, while identifying commodities for exports through Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency.
Speaking, the Chairman of the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, urged state governments in the country to explore opportunities in the AfCFTA to grow IGR through export of goods and services to other parts of the continent.
The minister, represented by the Director of Weight and Measures in the ministry, Abubakar Aliyu Dangaladima, also held sensitisation meetings with public and private sector players in the state, including MSME owners, professional bodies, trade and manufacturer associations.
Also speaking, the secretary of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Francis Anatogu, 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 the 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 grassroots 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.”