Nigeria looks to double export revenue leveraging AfCFTA
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy is looking to doubling its export revenue by 2035 leveraging the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Francis Anatogu, secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA, and the senior special assistant to the President on Public Sector Matters, said on Monday.
Anatogu, who spoke at a virtual interactive session, tagged “leveraging AfCFTA opportunities – The Road Ahead organized by Coronation Merchant Bank (MB) in Lagos, said the country’s strategic objective is to capture 10 percent of Africa’s imports.
He said Nigeria can take a comparative advantage at agro products, auto part equipment, and freight services.
The AfCFTA is set to create the largest free trade area in the world with a market of more than 12 billion people and a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion.
The estimated earnings of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in April 2021 rose by 15.3 percent to N409.31 billion, compared to its level in March 2021.
Regardless, it was 38.5 percent lower than the target of N665.53 billion in the 2021 budget, according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The decline, relative to the budget benchmark, was attributed to shortfalls in receipts from the Federation Account, Special Accounts, and Special Levies of the FGN, the CBN’s report stated.
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Anatogu said the strategic objectives of Nigeria’s participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is to grow local demand for new Made-in Nigeria automobiles to 200,000 units and local content to 40 percent in over 5 years.
According to him, while double intra-Africa trade currently flows at 15 percent, the continent is looking at doubling its share of world trade from 3 percent to 6 percent over the next 10 years.
“To deepen the economic integration of the African continent as well as expand intra-African trade, catalyzing each continent’s environment and automotive systems is the key to the implementation of the AfCFTA. Furthermore, Nigeria is leveraging technology and cluster development strategy to grow MSMEs, reduce informal trade and aggregate them for export. We need to produce what we can export, scale, and workforce that will go beyond Nigerian borders,” Anatogu said.
Speaking at the event, Banjo Adegbohungbe, managing director, Coronation Merchant Bank said the commencement of the AfCFTA would be a major catalyst for Africa’s recovery post-Covid and urged Nigeria to fully embrace the opportunities.
“We have chosen to focus today’s conversation on the AfCTA and around the opportunities, we would see in the trade and finance space as we begin to prepare for the post-Covid business environment,” he said.
Komi Tsowou, economist at the African Trade Policy Center, Regional Integration and Trade Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said almost everything moving from petroleum, oil, motor vehicle, cotton, fabric, milk, and so on, every single thing is mainly being exported from the rest of the world, which means there is a huge gap that products made in Africa can fill.
“We hope that AfCTA creating a kind of African market for African products will contribute to reducing the gap of our overreliance on exports to the world market,” Tsowou said.