The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Sector Matters, Francis Anatogu said the restoration of Nigeria’s economic prosperity required critical thinking about a post-oil world amid crashing of crude oil prices and shift to renewable energy sources on environmental impact and climate change concerns across the world.
Anatogu, who was a discussant at the recently concluded Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit (KADINVEST 6.0), added that the Federal and state governments must begin to articulate various non-oil export products and service to address the challenge of dwindling revenue and financing of infrastructure developments which attract foreign investments.
A leeway to navigating the current economic turbulence, Anatogu said, was to leverage the world’s largest single free trade market, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement which provided avenue for the 36 states of the Federation to increase their commodity and non-oil exports to various African countries to as much as $1.2 billion annually.
He submitted to the investors and high level government officials present at the KADINVEST 6.0 that: “We need to start thinking about a Post-Oil world; Nigeria’s current export of oil is about 60 billion dollars annually, Africa’s import of products from the rest of the world is about 600 billion dollars annually, if we target just 10% of this export value, we can divide it across the 36 states of the Federation and have Kaduna and every other states target a minimum of 1.2 billion dollars in export annually.”
Anatogu, who was joined by other panelists from the public and private sectors to speak on “AfCFTA: Opportunities in transforming the Agricultural Sector of Kaduna State”, noted that Kaduna State has caved a niche for itself in production of rice, sesame and other agricultural commodities in commercial quantities, adding that the AfCFTA is a larger market that the State can leverage for increasing export, foreign exchange earnings and job creation.
Anatogu, who doubles as the Secretary of the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA, told members of the Kaduna business community that: “Our strategy is to work with the states based on their areas of comparative advantages and priorities as a way of building up our national export trade and creating jobs at the grassroots level”.
Daily Commerce recalled that a delegation of the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA chaired by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, was in Kaduna in February, 2021 as part of the nationwide sensitisation tour aimed at engaging and informing the private sector players especially grassroots MSMEs about the AfCFTA and opportunities inherent in it while seeking collaboration with the state governments in Nigeria.