The Nigerian government assured that it will enable local demand for new made-in-Nigeria automobiles by 40% in the next five years, in a bid to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). They also revealed that Nigeria’s strategic objective was to capture 10% of Africa’s imports, as well as to double the country’s export revenues by 2035.

This was disclosed by Mr Francis Anatogu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Sector matters and Executive Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA, at a virtual seminar on Monday, themed: “Leveraging AfCFTA opportunities – The road ahead” organised by Coronation Merchant Bank.

Anatogu revealed that the strategic objectives of Nigeria’s participation in the AfCFTA was to grow local demand for new made-in Nigeria automobiles to 200,000 units or 40%, over five years. “The country would leverage technology and a cluster development strategy to grow the capacity of MSMEs, reduce informal trade and aggregate them for export,” he said. He added that Nigeria was Africa’s largest market by GDP, accounting for 8.2% of Africa’s goods imports and 25.2% of services import, citing the need for proactive measures to grow local content of made-in-Nigeria products, to satisfy rules of origin, reduce unit cost, create new jobs and attract investments.

“While intra-Africa trade currently flows at 15%, the continent is looking at doubling its share of world trade from 3% to 6% over the next 10 years,” adding that Nigeria’s strategic objective was to capture 10% of Africa’s imports, as well as to double the country’s export revenues by 2035.

“To deepen economic integration of the African continent as well as expand intra-African trade, catalysing the continent’s environment and automotive systems is the key to the implementation of the AfCFTA,” he said.

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The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), stated last week that for Nigeria to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), policymakers must prioritise investments in regional infrastructure to maximize Nigeria’s position with the agreement.

This was disclosed by Dr Oyesola Oyekunle, Director, Policy, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA). He said Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit remains a concern towards the actualization of the agreement for efficient business delivery, and called for the strengthening of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission with human and material resources and its legal framework, to enable it to perform maximally in the realisation of the objectives to which it is set up.

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