Okechukwu Enelemah, Minister of Industry Trade and Investment who inaugurated the committee informed that the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) will from henceforth, be part of the Nigerian negotiating team for the CFTA, as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Also,the Committee members are drawn from Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; office of the Vice President; Ministry of Budget and National Planning; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Finance; Nigeria Customs Service; Nigeria Immigration Service; Central Bank of Nigeria; Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture; NESG; Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission;
They members also include the National Bureau of Statistics; National Association of Nigerian Traders; Nigeria Export Promotion Council; National Coalition of Service Industry; National Association of Small Scale Industries; Representatives of Academia; Representatives of Digital Economy (Jumia, Iroko and Andela)
The Terms of Reference are: to serve and advise government, as the national multi-stakeholder technical platform on the CFTA Negotiations, across all the negotiating areas, including, but not limited to goods, services, investment, competition and intellectual property; monitor the negotiations and undertake analysis to ensure that the negotiations and emerging results approximate the goals for the negotiations established by the Government; identify the opportunities and challenges facing the country in trade with other African countries, both intra and Inter-Regional Economic Communities (REC); and, participate in the negotiations, as appropriate.
The Minister at the inauguration said,“We need to grow and modernize the Nigerian economy through African trade integration. This would require focus, discipline, organization, determination and the exercise of that famous entrepreneurial spirit for which Nigerians are renowned the world-over.
“The inauguration of the National Committee for the CFTA, today, is therefore, intended to reinforce the process for national economic recovery and development, across all areas. Today’s inauguration is auspicious and timely,” he concluded.
Recall,at their summit in 2012, African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government decided to establish a Continental Free Trade Area, as part of a plan to industrialize the Continent by 2063 as well as boost Intra-Africa trade,which currently stands at only 19%.
HARRISON EDEH, ABUJA