The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo CON, has stated that Africa Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA)will improve Nigerian export sophistication across the continent by engaging more countries to integrate regional and global value chains and consequently increase the quality of export.
Adebayo disclosed this at the occasion of commemoration of the 2019 AfricanIndustrialization Day (AID) held in Calabar, Cross River State. The theme for this year’s day is “Positioning African Industry to supply the AfCFTA Market” which the Minister describes as very apt considering that the priorities of the AfCFTA in ensuring that African industriesfully reap its benefits.
The Minister further stated that government is fully committed to resolving the constraints beveling our business environment, ensuring that relevant agencies of government are implementing various initiatives that address key areas for modern infrastructures such as;power supply, good road networks, improving the patronage of locally made goods; bringing the gaping skills and innovation, imploring the ease of doing business, improving cost and access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),resolving multiple taxations, among others.
Otunba Adebayo further said “even though the share of intra-Africa exports as a percentage of total Africa exports increased from about 10%percent in 1995 to around 17% percent in 2017(Brooking Institute ), it remains low compared to levels with Europe (69%),Asia (59%),and North America(31%)
Adebayo concluded that if Africa is to fulfill itspotentials of diversifying and transforming its economies though the AfCFTA, African countries must begin the work of implementing strategies for exports, diversification,industrialization and value chain development.
“The AfCFTA present us with a game chaining opportunity that cannot be missed” he added.
The Minister expressed his gratitude to the Governor of Cross Rivers State, Prof. Ben Ayade, in his giant and bold steps taken in embracing industrialization in his State.
He also appreciated the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), which remained a faithful partner in the Industrialization of Nigeria.
The Governor of Cross Rivers State, Prof. Ben Ayade in his speech urged African Countries especially Nigeria to undertake agro-industrial revolutions to address unemployment, adding that the industrialization of Africa had become urgent.
Deputy Director (Press)