Nigeria’s Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Sector Matters, Francis Anatogu says the Federal Government aims to grow the intra-Africa export trade volume to $50billion by 2035 leveraging on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
Anatogu, who is also the Secretary of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, spoke at an event recently saying Nigeria aims to use the continental trade agreement to prepare for a post-oil revenue.
In order to achieve this, Anatogu said some strategic programmes were already underway.
Some of these programmes include a N50 billion Naira Export Expansion Facility Programme, implemented by Nigeria’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the 2.3 trillion National Economic Sustainability Plan for export-driven growth.
Others are the N1 billion Nigeria-Africa Trade Investment Programme launched by Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Zero Oil Plan (ZOP), to promote non-oil exports, create over 450,000 additional jobs and generate a minimum of $150billion.
He also added that the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan created by the government will help to build the country’s competitive advantage in key priority sectors, through the accelerated expansion of the manufacturing sector and the expansion of industry scope.
Under the 2021 budget, Anatogu said over N11 billion has been earmarked for the rehabilitation of various railway tracks including, N8.86 billion for Nigeria Railway modernization project Lagos-Ibadan – Kano, N1.01 billion for the development of National Transport Databank, and N6.05 billion for the construction of outreach centres, including the supply of equipment.
Recently, the Economic Commission for Africa has advised member states in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to prioritize the free movement of people as it was one of the agendas signed during the Abuja Treaty establishing the African economic community in 1991.
This was disclosed by David Luke, Coordinator, African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of the ECA during an event organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) at the 53rd session of its Conference of Ministers in Addis Ababa over the weekend.
In the lecture titled “Digitalising Migration Response to harness Africa’s Economic Development and Demographic Dividend in the COVID-19 Era”, the ECA director revealed that four basic freedom components which make up the AfCFTA agenda are: movement of people, capital, goods, and services.