The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provides the right opportunity to unlock Nigeria’s potential for growth, said Niyi Adebayo, the minister of industry, trade and investment, on Thursday.
Speaking at a business forum in Lagos, the country’s commercial hub, Adebayo said the West African nation has the largest population in the continent, and a young and tech-savvy workforce with a large gross domestic product figure.
Adebayo, who emphasized the importance of public/private partnership to drive Nigeria’s success in the AfCFTA, reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the private sector took its rightful place as a key driver in the AfCFTA.
Akin Oyebode, professor of international law with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, said at the forum that the future of the continent largely depends on the success of the AfCFTA.
Oyebode, however, told his audience that the AfCFTA, since its take-off, had not secured the requisite traction, attributing the development to the similarity in the goods and products of the different African countries, not availing the complementarity which diversity would have facilitated.
“It does not appear as if the various African countries have sufficiently grasped the intricacies of economic integration on the African continent to fulfil its objectives,” he said.
He urged members of the AfCFTA to focus on synchronization with programs, policies, and plans of other African countries in order to jump-start their economies to a higher level. Enditem