The Federal Government says it is providing $1.2 billion export capacities to states governments on a bid to boost export.
This is even as a draft implementation plan on Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been developed to ensure effectiveness of the continental trade pact at the sub-national levels.
The three- day conference which is organised in conjunction with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum is to ensure that the country fully leverage on the continental deal to reposition the nation’s economy.
The Secretary, National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Mr Francis Anatogu, said while addressing newsmen in Abuja ahead of the Nigeria AfCFTA Subnational Strategy Workshop which commences on Tuesday in the nation’s capital territory.
Anatogu said, “First of the strategic goals in the implementation plan is to grow export capacity of every state to the tune of $1.2 billion with a focus on products where there is a competitive advantage.
“The organizing of the first subnational strategy workshop in collaboration with the NGF here in Abuja is an intervention that will put the nation on course to make this goal a reality,” Anatogu said.
Anatogu further called for more intra-trading activities between states in the country as well as other countries.
“As you may be aware the AfCFTA agreement whose main objective is to promote export trade, deepen economic integration of the continent, create a single market for goods and services with free movement of Africans and investments among member countries came into effect on January 1st, 2021.
“This agreement seeks to eliminate 90% of Tariffs and reduce Non-Tariff barriers to enhance Intra-African trade across the continent and form the foundation of the establishment of a continental customs union thereby creating the largest single market in the world.
“For Nigeria, the AfCFTA will reenergize our country’s aspirations for industrialization and position Nigeria as the destination market for goods and services of the highest standards (finished or not) for the 1.2 billion consumers this agreement has brought to our door step.
” For us, with Nigeria being greatly blessed with both natural and human resources, the AfCFTA drive is about looking inwards to push outwards.”
Also speaking, the Director General of the Nigerian Governors Forum Secretariat, Asishana Okauru, restated the commitment of the 36 states governors in the country to key into the potentials, provided by AfCFTA to boost Intra-Africa trade.
Speaking further on how much value the AfCFTA mean to state governors, Okauru said the chairman of the forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, has already shown uncommon passion to ensure a successful workshop and the continental trade deal in the country.
He said the Forum through one of its committee headed by Governor Mohammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State is also working to ensure relevant structures and policies are put in place to ensure that states successfully leverage on the AfCFTA deal.