The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged Federal Government to set machinery in motion to ensure that Nigeria optimises the expected benefits from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the bid to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the pact, the House resolved that the Committees on Special Duties and Commerce, when constituted should ensure its strict implementation.
The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Odebunmi Dokun (APC-Oyo) who harped on the need to ‘assess the African Continental Free Trade Agreement Signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.’
According to him: “The House notes that President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Extra-Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of States and Governments in Niamey, the Niger Republic on Sunday, July 7, 2019, signed a Pact to establish the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria.
“The House notes that the President, while signing the Agreement, stated that the Nigerian Government will seek to include terms that will engender the development of policies that will promote African production, among other policies, while reiterating that what Africa needs goes beyond trade policy but includes a manufacturing agenda as well as attracting investments and combating smuggling.
The House also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the step of placing Nigeria in the right place among her colleagues in the Continent of Africa through the signing of the agreement.
During the debate on the motion, the lawmakers commended President Buhari for signing the Trade Agreement with significant caution on the need to prevent excessive prosperity for importing nations along the coasts while landlocked nations will continue to suffer.
The House also stressed the need for “Nigeria, as the largest economy in Africa should, in line with the Agreement, define various ways to optimize benefits accruable from the pact by ensuring that its exports to other African Markets surpass its imports in order for it to have positive effects on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Balance of Trade Payments and employment generation objectives.
The House warned that “if that is not done, the nation could be turned into a dumping ground for products from other African Countries, a development that will be adverse to the nation’s macroeconomic objectives.”