President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday said that for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to yield expected results, it must be backed by requisite legal frameworks, right policies and robust implementation.
Lawan said this in Abuja when he received a delegation from the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, led by its newly elected Secretary-General, Wamkele Keabetswe Mene. Represented by the Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice, Lawan said that the aim of Nigeria’s decision to sign the agreement on 7th July, 2019 during the 12th Extra- Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Niamey, was to benefit Africans on the continent and outside it.
He said that apart from facing the challenges of unemployment and underemployment which had triggered both regular and irregular migration, the economies of African countries had been characterized by low productivity, reduced efficiency, and the problem of limited resources.
He described the African Continental Free Trade Agreement as “a step in the right direction for the growth of African economies, through limited restrictions, leading to the stimulation of trade, commerce and industry.”
Lawan said: “In signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), and depositing the instrument with the African Union Commission, our countries made a statement on the determination of our collective economic fate. This fate is in our hands, through requisite legal frameworks, right policies, and a robust implementation.
“The initial momentum from the signing of the agreement needs to be continued, for a greater continental impact, to benefit Africans, both on the continent and outside it.
The Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations, which is the agency of government, responsible for managing, coordinating, and leading all trade and trade related negotiations, has the clear mandate of managing Nigeria’s side of the agreement