By Princewill Ekwujuru
As part of its commitment to a successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) Agreement, the Federal Government has said that efforts are ongoing to establish a trade remedial authority to enforce rules of origin and tighten borders against fraudulent invoicing.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, made the disclosure in Lagos while paying courtesy call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as part of the nationwide sensitisation visit to Lagos by the National Action Committee (NAC) on AfCFTA.
Adebayo added that the government was committed to establishing Nigeria’s designated competent authority for administering the AfCFTA rules of origin as well as automating the process for managing exporter and product registration.
He said the NAC, which he Chairs, is collaborating with the National Trade Facilitation Committee domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to facilitate the execution of the regional trade facilitation roadmap.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu, announced the State Government’s willingness to domesticate the policies of the AfCFTA to accelerate the actualisation of the recently launched Lagos thirty-year Development Plan.
According to him, Lagos State Government will explore all the opportunities inherent in the AfCFTA to grow its revenue and GDP base and create employment for the youth.
Speaking at a press conference with journalists shortly after the meeting with the Governor, the Secretary of the NAC, Francis Anatogu, said: “Our strategy is to work with the states based on their areas of comparative advantages and Lagos State has been identified to have trade strength in ICT, telecommunication, transportation and financial services”.