Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture, has called on the Federal Government to domesticate the African Continental Free Trade Area.
This is to enable the country to benefit from the full implementation of the agreement.
Domestication of AfCTA implies that the National Assembly must pass a law to make the operation of the treaty legal in the country as any treaty (including AfCFTA) remain not legally enforceable until an act of the assembly.
The National President of NACCIMA, Ide John Udeaghala who disclosed this at a press conference held in Lagos Thursday, says a law from NASS supporting the trade agreement has become necessary if the country must tap into the opportunities presented by the trade agreement.
Udeagbala who admitted there were concerns by various stakeholders on the risk of Nigeria becoming a “dumping ground” of products due to the consumption patterns of its large population and market stated that why the concerns were valid, Nigeria will benefit more if the necessary safeguards are out in place.
He urged the Organized Private Sector to establish offensive and defensive strategies in collaboration with the federal government to take advantage of the safeguard measures inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
The OPS, NACCIMA boss stressed need to go into more market intelligence activities while the Nigeria Economic Diplomacy Initiative can be used to mitigate the risk of abuse of the AfCFTA.
This they can achieve, by taking advantage of studies NACCIMA had already carried out in this area, on the vulnerabilities of the Nigerian economy exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a view to provide guidance for the strategic implementation of the AfCFTA.
He further stated that the nation’s borders should be well secured, urging operators to accord border security the highest priority in all advocacy activities of the Organized Private Sector with regards to the AfCFTA, in view of Nigeria’s porous borders and its various illegal crossing points.
Also speaking at the occasion, Dele Kelvin Oye, 1st deputy president NACCIMA says the continuing revolution in digitization and technology is impacting on the conduct of businesses and many have adapted to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, to harness technology for productivity and profitability in all sectors.
According to him, NACCIMA recognizes that the digital transformation of manufacturing/production and related industries and value creation processes, require development of the capacity of Nigerian businesses in the areas of digitization and technology by the OPS, adding that this will reposition the Nigerian economy to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development through the implementation of the AfCFTA.