Mr Ogo Chukwura, the Team lead on Export National Action Committee, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), says about 12 percent of Nigeria’s trade is intra-Africa and AfCFTA aims at lifting it to 25 percent by 2035.
Chukwura said in Abuja that AfCFTA would double Africa share of world trade if the potentials are harnessed .
AfCFTA is essentially to deepen economic integration of the continent and improve intra-Africa trade through systems of engagement.
And to also facilitate state resolution and addressing Nigeria’s trading practices
The Team lead said that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement was expected to cause a progressive elimination of 90 percent tariff.
According to him , the anticipated impact of the agreement will be growing intra-Africa trade from the current level and also double Africa share of world trade from 3 percent to 6 percent.
He also said that the agreement says that majority of the tariff which is 90percent will be negotiated and progressively reduced to zero over an agreed period of time.
He said that the elimination of 90percent of the tariff unit would grow the opportunity for development of regional value chain and import of made in Africa products.
He added that it would also make import from Africa cheaper as the tariffs you had paid for would have been reduced over time.
He , However, said that the National Action committee on AFCFTA has identified opportunities which would be beneficial to Nigeria based on its export capacity
“At national action committee, we have identified a number of opportunities based on Nigeria’s capacity and items Africa has greatest demand for.
We have the opportunity to supply and build a matrix around it.
“Africa is currently exporting an excess of 1 billion US dollars and we want to take the opportunity presented by AfCFTA to become the primary and preferred supplier of goods and services.
“Programs have been put in place for businesses to have access to finance and initiatives to ensure that information is communicated to businesses so that they are aware of market requirements.
“We have started discussions around harmonization of policies between various governments, regulations of issues on quality standard, certifications and trade policies, to facilitate trade amongst African countries.
“AfCFTA provides a foundation for the establishment of the continental customs union. The custom union is the end goals were there are essentially no borders.
“It is free movement of goods and persons, working with one currency as you have with the European Union (EU). That is the objective but it is a phase implementation,” he said.
According to Chukwura, frameworks have also been established to make sure Nigeria do not become the world’s junkyard of inferior products and services.
“The framework is captured on the trade enablement. The document will guide how we manage the risk and ensure that we are not a dumping site for sub-standard products at the end of the day.
“One critical way to ensure that Nigeria does not get to the point were anything that comes from outside is accepted and bought is that we must produce our own goods and service,” he said.
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