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FG Says Launch of Single Unified Market Will Not Affect Economy

Federal Government of Nigeria has said that the proposed launching of African single trade market would not affect Nigerian economy as adequate measures were being put in place to protect the economy.

The Chief Negotiator for Continent Free Trade Area (CFTA), Amb. Chiedu Osakwe, stated this in Abuja on Thursday night at a joint news conference on the outcome of the just concluded African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Muhammadu Buhari had at the just concluded 30th AU Head of States and Government Summit pushed for the establishment of the market which was adopted by the summit.

Osakwe said that as the scheme is set to be launched in March 4, Nigeria is bracing up to ensure that it does not become a dumping ground for counterfeit and substandard products.

He stressed that the measures would ensure that the initiative instead of adversely affecting the economy would rather increase trade within the continent, create more jobs and reduce poverty.

He said that consultation had already begun with all the stakeholders including the organised private sectors made up of manufacturers and other relevant bodies.
Wang Shouwen, Vice-Minister of Commerce China, DG/Chief Negotiator of Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe and Nigerian Minister for Trade & Investment Okechukwu Enelamah (Photo Credit: Invest advocate)

“We will embark on sensitisation programme, we have been to the Nigeria trade negotiation agency, we have developed a time table as advised by the presidency to meet with industry group and private sector.

 “One of our key mandate is to put in place anti-dumping measures, to safeguard the Nigeria economy from becoming a dumping ground, we are pulling all the stuff, this is one of the principles to ensure this is achieved,” he said.

A one time Senator, said that Nigeria as a country would benefit from the project which aims to create a unified air transport market and complete liberation of intra-africa travel a s a key component of its regional economy.

 “AU believes that the initiative will pave way for a further easing of visa restrictions and will eventually lead to a common African Passport to promote free movement and trade among African nations,” he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama described the just concluded Summit as historic with a lot of key and landmark achievements by the AU leaders.

Onyeama pointed out that the push by President Buhari for single African market was not an easy task.According to him, negotiating with about 55 countries, who have different ideologies and agenda of their own to agree over an issue was not an easy task for the President. The question now remain, critically examined, CFTA is going to be a blessing or a curse to the Continent? The heads of states need to be better tutored about this to quickly get the confirmation of all.