Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement would transform the Nigerian economy and create jobs for millions of people. He said this at the opening session of the 2019 annual directors’ conference of the Institute of Directors Nigeria.
The conference was organised to discuss the readiness of Nigeria, policy changes and necessary steps required for the country to maximize the benefits from the AfCFTA. Based on projections by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the agreement is expected to boost intra-African trade by between by $50bn to $70bn in monetary terms, with a 40 per cent to 50 per cent increase over the first 20 years of its implementation.
Osinbajo said the AfCFTA, to which Nigeria is signatory, is a laudable development that builds on existing regional initiatives and presents opportunities for increased collaboration and economic integration among African economies. He said while these are the early days of the trade agreement, there is no doubt that Nigeria would enjoy significant benefits from the agreement.
He said, “AfCFTA will also promote a vibrant and competitive industrial sector that is central to job creation and income growth. “This will improve the human capital base of the economy. Enlarged regional markets will also provide a platform for cooperation on infrastructure development, technology transfer and innovation.