Dele Oye, president, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has charged the Federal Government on the speedy ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to facilitate intra-African trade and boost economic integration.
Oye, who also urged Nigerian businesses to embrace the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA, said the agreement presents an unprecedented opportunity for African businesses to expand into new markets, bring new products and services, and create more jobs and wealth for the people.
Oye spoke at the second phase of the AfCFTA secretariat mission in Nigeria, in conjunction with the National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Area, NACCIMA and the business community in Nigeria.
The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating. The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion. It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty, but achieving its full potential will depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures.
According to the NACCIMA president, “It gives me great pleasure to reflect on our early endorsement of the AfCFTA and our unwavering commitment to its success. As one of the first organizations to endorse the agreement, NACCIMA has actively supported preparations for the implementation of the AfCFTA in Nigeria.
“I am delighted to announce that NACCIMA has successfully organised the AfCFTA lecture series in collaboration with Deloitte; an initiative that has been instrumental in sensitising our members on the potential benefits of the agreement. Through these series of lectures, we have provided valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges presented by the AfCFTA to our members.
“We are delighted to note the significant progress made so far, including the establishment of the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana and the launch of the operational phase of the agreement. The AfCFTA presents an unprecedented opportunity for African businesses to expand into new markets, bring new products and services, and create more jobs and wealth for our people.”
Oye said, “As we move into the second phase of the AfCFTA secretariat mission here in Nigeria, I implore the Nigerian Government to quickly ratify the agreement.
“The timely ratification of the AfCFTA will provide a much-needed boost to our efforts to promote intra-African trade and economic integration.”
He added, “In closing, I call on Nigerian businesses to embrace the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA fully. As the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria has a crucial role to play in the success of this historic agreement. Let us all work together to harness the full potential of AfCFTA and make the African continent the economic powerhouse it deserves to be.”