Ogun state government on Tuesday inaugurated Committee for African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in the state.
The committee includes; Commissioner for Finance, Mr Dapo Okunbadejo, Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Kiklomo Longe, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Olaolu Olabintan, the Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Selim Adegunwa amongst others.
Nigeria government signed the AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger on 7 July 2019 to promote intra-African trade with other African countries.
The agreement was conceived to create a single market for made in Africa goods and services as part of efforts to deepen the economic integration amongst African countries.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony at his Oke-Mosan office in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, Governor Abiodun who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele disclosed that the main objective of the technical working group was to develop a robust strategies and to ensure successful implementation of AfCFTA in the state.
Abiodun stressed that the agreement would further address challenges faced by small and medium scale enterprises in the course of transpiring goods and services, this, he said would yield result in area of free movement of raw materials in the state.
His words: “As the industrial hub and investment destination in Nigeria, our aim is to continue to leverage on the proximity to West Africa corridor as well as Lagos towards improving Investment in our dear state.”
Abiodun appealed to members of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA to synergize with the state technical working group towards the development of the state implementation group.
Earlier in his speech, the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo who was represented by the Director of Trade at the Ministry, Mr Aliyu Abubakar said if Nigeria is to stand any chance of making something out of AfCFTA, it must as a matter of necessity domesticate it at the state and grassroots levels.
This reason, he added, was why the National Action Committee on AfCFTA commenced the nationwide sensitisation across the states to ensure that each state find its voice in that overall vison and mission of AfCFTA.
“Since the bulk of Nigeria wealth of the nation, both natural resources and human talent are domiciled in the state, it goes without saying that if Nigeria is to stand any chance of making something out of AfCFTA, it must as a matter of necessity domesticate it at the state and grassroots levels”.