- Governors dispel fears that Nigeria will be dumping ground for substandard products.
- Borno Governor expresses delight over deal.
Some state governors have reacted to the signature of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement done by President Muhammad Buhari at the weekend.
The action of the president was lauded by governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Babagana Zulum (Borno) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi),l noting that the deal will increase the volume of trade and boost the economy.
It could be recalled that the governors were part of the President’s delegation to the 12th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the African Union on Launch of the Operational Phase of the AfCFTA held in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Speaking with the State House correspondents on Monday, they said necessary measures must be placed to ensure that the country rips the maximum benefits from the deal.
On his part, Governor Masari said there is a need to build capacity to enable manufacturers to produce high-quality goods that can compete favourably with other countries.
“I think it’s very important because Africa is a big market of 1.2 billion consumers and you know with the capability, industriousness and entrepreneurship, some may use Africa prices to be packaging instead of producing.
“So, I do believe for Nigeria, it’s a big opportunity. The market is there, the opportunities are here and with the level of entrepreneurship in Nigeria, I believe we will take advantage of that.”
Zulum pointed that the agreement will boost economic activities in Borno state and help the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to improve their lives.
“Borno state is bordering about three countries – Niger, Cameroon and Chad. It is my sincere belief that Borno will have some of the free trade zone in our own place and this will now improve the means of livelihood of the displaced communities of Borno state, trade volume within the state will also increase and this will further improve the socio-economic well-being of the citizens of Borno state,” he added.
Governor Bagudu described the president’s signing of AfCFTA as a momentous occasion, and dispelled fears that it will lead to dumping of goods in Nigeria.
“The consultations with the organized private sector and relevant agencies and individuals have brought out the kind of work and synergy we need to put together so that as a country, we can do better under the trade deal, so that we can ensure that the tariff agreement, whatever tariff agreement we enter into is such that it will prohibit dumping and it does not discriminate against us especially for a country like Nigeria which has suffered the brunt of dumping – from rice to poultry to milk – that has threatened our industry.