By Felix Khanoba
The Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Areas (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, has urged the Nigerian government to speedily ratify the trade deal, as it has many things to benefit.
Mene who disclosed that three major automobile companies from Asia have expressed readiness to invest in Africa under the continental trade pact, said the Secretariat is working to address the concern raised by countries like Nigeria on product dumping.
He disclosed this while fielding questions from newsmen during a visit to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, in Abuja on Monday.
He said the companies are now waiting for the rules of origin issue under the trade agreement to be sorted out to bring their massive investment to several places in the continent under the AfCFTA market.
While saying such investment would benefit Nigeria and other AfCTA member countries, Mene called for the speedy ratification of the agreement in the country.
“On the 5th of December when we will be having our next summit, I believe the domestic process will be completed and the instrument of the agreement will be submitted”, he said.
The AfCTA scribe, who commended the efforts of the acting Director General of Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), Mr Victor Liman, said Nigeria played a prominent role in the emergence of the continental trade pact and also stand to gain a lot in the area of job creation and industrialization.
He said the pact when fully operational will also boost the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector that now account for about 70per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the continent.
On his part, the Minister of Trade, Adebayo, congratulated Mene on his election as Secretary General of AfCFTA secretariat.
He expressed the commitment of Nigeria to ratify the agreement and leverage on the trade pact to boost its industrialization promotion and job creation’s drive.
The AUTHORITY reports that Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement last year but the pact is yet to be ratified and domesticated in the country.