With the take-off of the much awaited Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AFCTA, signed onto by 54 of 55 countries in Africa, Ghana was nominated to serve as the continental Secretariat for the Economic Trade Area.
In response to this development, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the Federal Government, to work towards building a competitive Nigerian economy to derive value from the AFCTA.
As one of the oldest chambers of commerce in Nigeria and a major business bloc, the LCCI welcomes the signing of the AFCTA following the recommendation of the Presidential Committee.
The LCCI maintained that while AFCTA is primed to improve trade among African countries and provide an opportunity for Nigeria to export to other African countries, appropriate safeguard measures should be put in place to protect vulnerable sectors of the economy.
The Chamber made a strong case for more significant investments in infrastructure covering road networks, rail, power, seaport and broadband in the country to bring down the operating and production costs in the economy.
LCCI also stated that it was also critical to ensure that there is effective enforcement of the Rules of Origin.
The Chamber also believed that the institutions and policies of the government must align with driving a competitive economy for Nigeria.
AFCTA is now the largest continental wide free trade agreement with 54 African countries as signatories and has the potentials of deepening Intra-African trade and boosting development and economic growth within the region.