FG seeking FDI to develop Special Economic Zones – Trade Minister

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The Federal Government has asked states across the nation should take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in a bid to attract investments to the states for economic productivity.

This was disclosed by Francis Anatogu, Secretary, National Action Committee (NAC) on AfCFTA, while on a courtesy visit to Mr. Asishana Okauru, the Director-General, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on Friday in Abuja.

Anatogu said the FG wants states and private stakeholders to maximize the trade deal to ensure Nigeria takes full opportunity of the African Market.

He added that the FG’s Committee on AfCFTA implementation wants the Governors to implement regional and local policies to integrate the AfCFTA in their states through sponsorship and participation in AfCFTA sensitization programmes.

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“As a committee, we are now working toward how we as a nation can properly utilize business doors being offered by AfCFTA. The NGF represents the states as good channel to reach out to the state government and that is why we have reached out to it.

“We want them to take advantage of AfCFTA because as a nation, we need to produce what we sell; we need to invest and attract investors. To attract investors, we need good policies, infrastructure, and good conditions for ease of doing business.” 

He added that free trade is important to diversify Nigeria’s economy and all necessary leaders need to be on board. He urged that Governors must provide partnership for coordination at local levels.

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“Trade and all the things around it are very important for the development of our country, so we have to get our principals involved in this project.

“To make any meaningful impact from this project, the sub-national leaders must be involved and the forum we will provide that platform for easy coordination.

“They all know that we have signed this agreement but how to get them involved is very important for the benefit of all,” he said.

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported last week that the FG announced that it ratified Nigeria’s membership to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ahead of the December 5, 2020 deadline. The agreement goes into effect from the 1st of January 2021.

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Yewande Sadiku, CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said in September that Nigeria was more ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), due to her domestic market manufacturing value addition capacity, which is 7 times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa and others.

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Mr. Francis Anatogu, stated earlier that the agreement would reduce the erosion of the naira, which has suffered nearly 90% devaluation since 2016, through exports of Nigerian-made goods and services, and give the naira exposure to other currencies.

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