The Federal Government is set to enforce Rules of Origin and tighten borders against fraudulent invoicing by establishing a trade remedies authority for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said this was one of the strategies being deployed to ensure the successful implementation of the AfCFTA.
The minister made this known while paying a visit to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu n Lagos State Government House as part of the nationwide sensitisation visit to Lagos by the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA.
Adebayo said the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA, which he chairs, was 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.
The minister highlighted the AfCFTA implementation plans to include domestication of the AfCFTA Agreement, border enforcement and Rules of Origin enforcement, trade facilitation and ease of doing business, production and service capacity growth.
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According to him, the government is a committed to strengthening power and trade logistics infrastructure, ensuring market access, skills and human capacity development, and quality infrastructure.
During the visit, Sanwo-Olu expressed the State Government’s willingness to domesticate the policies of the AfCFTA to accelerate the actualisatin of the recently launched Lagos 30 years development plan.
According to Sanwo-Olu, Lagos state will explore all the available opportunities in the AfCFTA Agreement to grow its revenue, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) base and create employment for youth.
Speaking at a press conference with the journalists shortly after the meeting with the governor, the Secretary of the National Action Committee, 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.”
Speaking, the Executive Secretary, African Shipowners Association, Funmi Folorunso, stressed the need for the Federal Government to focus energy on making Nigeria the transportation hub for Africa, adding that countries like Ghana have cut their trade niche under the AfCFTA.