The benefits of ACFTA for Nigeria huge, says Osinbajo

Posted by Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja | 10 July 2018 | 1,425 times

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•Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the benefits of signing the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), is huge.

He said this at the 8th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum with focus on the Export Sector and a brief on the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).
The Vice President said, “With respect to the ACFTA, there are clearly huge advantage for us no question about it at all. The rest of Africa see the enormous advantage of Nigeria’s participation, everybody is waiting for us naturally and that is because they see a huge market, there are advantages of our being there. But we must ensure we get the best possible terms for Nigerian trade and commerce.

“Our experiences with dumping and other injurious practices make it obvious to us that our market could be a real target, our local manufacturing could become unprofitable, our agricultural advantage could be reversed.

“Consequently, we have embarked on extensive consultations with trade groups, manufacturers and organized labour in all the six geo-political zones in other to get a clear sense of concerns as we navigate the process of signing the treaty.

“I think a general resolve favours engagement but the concerns remains around improving the domestic environment for greater competitiveness, concerns of power supply and investment in infrastructure.“

Osinbajo said unlike in the past where treaties were signed without engagement, Nigeria was not only being engaged but was leading the engagement.

He said, “For the first time Nigeria is actually engaged and we are leading the engagement, this is something that has never happened in the past. In the past we found treaties that were negotiated nobody knew who negotiated them, nobody knew how they were done, nobody knew what was going on.

“I have been involved many years ago as attorney general in the federal ministry of justice, one of the critical things we did then was gathered all our treaties reports from 1990, I actually edited 10 volumes. All those volumes nobody knew who negotiated them, we just simply signed. But for the first time, we have an office that we have trade negotiators and that is how come we are in the forefront of this particular negotiation, we actually went and poached Ambassador Osakwe from the WTO.
Ministers, National Assembly representatives and Private Sector operatives were in attendance at the 8th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum.

Culled from Daily Sun

Source: News Express

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