The Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Action Committee of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on Monday said the first strategic goal in its implementation plan is to grow the export capacity of all states to the tune of $1.2 Billion. Francis Anatogu, Secretary of NAC-AfCFTA, who disclosed this in Abuja, informed that the committee will hold a conference with the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) which will focus on products with a competitive advantage.

Anatogu explained that the essence of the workshop is to help states boost their Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs), develop a highly-skilled workforce earning premium wages and a global state identity tied to a product or service through the implementation of the Free trade agreement. He further said the committee embarked on sensitization around the country to educate stakeholders on the objectives and benefits of the AfCFTA agenda in the last year.

These efforts, he stated, have also enabled the government to gain valuable insight that has guided it in the development of the AfCFTA implementation plan which has been completed and is currently undergoing adoption by the relevant public sector stakeholders.

He noted that the activities also exposed the need for a national strategy to be cascaded down to the sub-national level with State governments playing a major role if AfCFTA must be successful. “The first of the strategic goals in the implementation plan is to grow export capacity of every state to the tune of $1.2 billion with a focus on products where there is a competitive advantage.

“The organizing of the first sub-national strategy workshop in collaboration with the Nigerian Governor’s Forum here in Abuja is an intervention that will put the nation on course to make this goal a reality,” he said. He further informed that over the next three days the NAC-AfCFTA will create a platform to engage and interact with State Technical Working Groups, to enable states to tailor their economic and development plans to include the requirements of the AfCFTA, ensure the TWGs are aware of the support available from the Federal government, among other things.

Speaking on the potentials of AfCFTA in Nigeria as a whole, he said, “For Nigeria, the AfCFTA will reenergize our country’s aspirations for industrialization and position Nigeria as the destination market for goods and services of the highest standards (finished or not) for the 1.2 billion consumers this agreement has brought to our doorstep.”

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