Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has urged Nigeria to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) for the nation to champion intra-African trade, economic development.
Ambode, who gave the advice yesterday in Lagos during the 2nd National Committee on Export Promotion Meeting in Lagos, said: “Nigeria is one of the two countries left to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; typical us, we were going round the country sensitising and to know whether we should join.
“The whole of Africa is waiting for Nigeria to show leadership.
“If we have the largest GDP and have overtaken South-Africa, what are we waiting for?
The fact is that if we want to begin to export, we must be the champion of Africa.
“We must be the Germany of Africa. If we do not drive the economy of Africa, it would not drive itself.
Africa must sell to Africa first, that should be the cornerstone of our export policy.”
In the same vein, Ambode, who commended the Federal Government for establishing the zero-oil policy that will boost the nation’s balance of trade, said Nigeria should put in place infrastructure and institutional framework to drive its zero-oil policy to success that will translate to wealth.
Also, Ambode has said that the export inflow at the Lekki Free Zone (LFZ) in Ibeju Lekki area of the state is projected to hit over $6 billion, about N2.15 trillion by 2020.
He said Nigeria needed to develop sustainable roadmap to rev up export with particular focus on multi-sector products far beyond oil.
He, therefore, advocated synergy among all the Federal Government agencies and state governments to promote export.
Besides, Secretary, National Economic Council (NEC), Olajide Odewale, said no economy could survive with just one commodity.
In another development, UK Aid, an international organisation, has planned to launch Nigeria’s non-oil products into the global Geographical Indication (GI) for international exposure and patronage.
The organisation, which stated this yesterday at a two-day event with the theme, “Non-Oil Exporters Dialogue,” initiated by Policy Development Facility Phase 11 (PDF II) in Lagos, pledged to create value for GI in Nigeria.
According to the Lead Exporter of Voices, PDF II Trade Policy Work Stream, UK Aid, Titi Ojo, the ideology behind the third edition series of non-oil exporter dialogue is to give a bottom-up approach to trade policy reform and enhance trade across Nigeria’s borders.