AMBODE Urges Nigeria To Sign AfCFTA To Boost Export
LAGOS State governor Akinwunmi Ambode Thursday declared support for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and urged Nigeria to sign the agreement.
He made the declaration during the second National Committee on Export Promotion Meeting in Lagos.
“Nigeria is one of the two countries left to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; typical us, we were going round the country sensitising and to know whether we should join.
“We should have joined since yesterday. We should show leadership. The whole of Africa is waiting for Nigeria to show leadership.
“If we have the largest GDP and have overtaken South-Africa, what are we waiting for? The fact is that if we want to begin to export, we must be the champion of Africa.
“We must be the Germany of Africa. If we do not drive the economy of Africa it would not drive itself. Africa must sell to Africa first, that should be the cornerstone of our export policy,” Ambode said.
He commended the Federal Government for establishing the zero-oil policy, saying that it would boost the nation’s balance of trade.
The governor also called for subsidy on other commodities to reduce the cost of food for Nigerians, adding that it was possible since rice subsidy has been successful.
Ambode said beyond commodity export itemised in the zero-oil policy, Nigeria should evolve a mechanism to export Afrobeat, arts and fashion, which were in high demand in the global market.
According to him, the country should put in place infrastructure and institutional frameworks to drive its zero oil policy to success that will translate to wealth for the country.
Mr Olajide Odewale, the Secretary, National Economic Council (NEC), said no economy could survive with just one commodity; hence NEC took the initiative to drive economic diversification through the zero-oil plan.
He said the federal and state governments partnered through the plan to enhance economic growth, boost foreign earnings, reduce poverty among Nigerians and create jobs.