By Babajide Okeowo
As African countries approach the January 1, 2021 kick-off date of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the National Action Committee (NAC) is developing a national implementation strategy.
The Policy Regulations and Laws Team has started the process of identifying three thematic areas which include trade in goods, trade in services, and trade enablement prior to the domestication of the agreement.
The Secretary of the Committee, Mr. Francis Anatogu made this known at the technical session of the 12th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment held in Abuja recently.
“Most of our laws need a bit of improving, not just because of AfCFTA but because some of the laws are passed a long time ago even before independence, and have become outdated. At the continental level, we must make sure that the rules under AfCFTA are obeyed, this is critical” he said.
According to him, the committee is strategizing on how Nigeria’s export volume can double by the year 2030 and as well as identifying key sectors, services, and products that could be the best supplier in Africa.
The ambition of AfCFTA is to give access to a trillion dollars per annum African market as well as removing duty on 90% of tradable goods while liberalising five sectors including financial services, transportation, business services, tourism, and communications.
Recall that the National Action Committee (NAC) was established in December 2019 to guide Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and the organised private sector on AfCFTA implementation.
The main objectives of the AfCFTA are to create a continental market for goods and services, with free movement of people and capital, and pave the way for creating a Customs Union – growing intra-African trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation across the continent.
Recall also that Nigeria recently submitted its Instruments of Ratification of the AfCFTA, becoming the 34th African country to fully do so.