Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has restated Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing intra-continental trade to propel development on the continent.
Osinbajo said this over the weekend in Lagos at the Africa Trade Forum 2018, AfCFTA Ratification and Implementation.
According to him, Nigeria is consulting with all stakeholder on the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He noted that Nigeria, being “possibly the largest market in Africa today, is most likely to benefit the most or lose the most from the implementation of the agreement.”
In addition, he said: “I believe that most African policy-makers would accept these feedbacks from Nigeria as having wider validity, especially as having some validity with their own economy as well.
“At the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on AfCFTA last week, President Buhari emphasized, while commending the AfCFTA process, as worthy and commendable, he said that the agreements we negotiate should be properly understood by those that would implement them, and be accompanied with an implementation plan.
“As the President said, ‘the AfCFTA is worthy and commendable.’ As a Government, we consider that structural reforms should address the legitimate concerns raised by stakeholders.
“As Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Management Team (EMT), I am pleased to read and hear that fellow African countries consider Nigeria’s domestic consultative process with Stakeholders as an applicable model.
“We engaged, constructively and robustly, with stakeholders, not only on the AfCFTA but also on Trade Policy Writ Large.
“The central message was support for the AfCFTA, based on a clear definition of increasing intra-African trade.
“The core feedback is to prepare thoroughly and, inter alia, ensure that the preferences of the AfCFTA would neither be abused nor be enjoyed by third parties that were not part of the negotiations.”