The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has applauded the Federal Executive Council’s endorsement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA).
The Chamber called for government’s support for the private sector, manufacturing and industrialisation.
Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, ACCI President, in statement on Thursday in Abuja described the development as commendable and a major boost to trade integration among African nations.
According to him, the AFCTA is a flagship project whose success will expand intra and inter African trade while also creating wealth to address gross inequality and poverty on the African continent.
“We warmly welcome the endorsement of AFCTA by the Federal Excutive Council. We also note that the National Action Committee on AFCTA preparedness has been working round the clock to put the nation on sound footing.
“The approval by FEC should now ramp up implementation of preparedness plans already submitted to government.
“The sectoral and sub-sectoral action plans listed and analysed many interventions needed to prepare Nigeria as a successful actor in the free continental trade.
“We can no longer wait any further as other African nations are passionately preparing. We must start the implementation of the preparedness plans,” Kayode said.
He said as Africa’s biggest economy and market, influx of goods from various parts of Africa when AfCTA kicked off should be expected.
Kayode said that government policies must deliberately assist and empower manufacturers to produce and export, to take full advantage of the AFCTA.
“Restrictive policies handicapping the private sector should be reviewed and relaxed.
“Multiple taxation that is cleaning busineses should be reconsidered. Funding for crucial sectors of the economy should be channeled through credible business associations.
“And more importantly, over-regulation kills businesses. Our government must urgently provide legal backing for the Ease of Doing Business reforms”, ACCI boss stated. (NAN)