Gbemi Saraki, Funmi Folorunsho Appointed AfCFTA Champions, Set To Hold Transportation Workshop

Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Nigeria's Minister of State for Transportation

By DAPO OLAWUNI

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki as well as, Ms. Olufunmilayo Folorunso, Secretary General African Shipowners Association have been appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to champion the course of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in the Transportation sector.

These Champions are expected to mobilize stakeholders in the transportation sector to prepare for AfCFTA and how to take maximum benefit from the agreement.

In view of the expected strategic and transformative effect of the AfCFTA on Nigerian businesses and economy, President Muhammadu Buhari had inaugurated a National Action Committee on AfCFTA on 20th December 2019 to coordinate Nigeria’s implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.

The AfCFTA Mission is to transform Nigeria into the Transportation Hub for Africa Trade.

As part of efforts to mobilize stakeholders to prepare for AfCFTA, the National Action Committee has now appointed AfCFTA Champions which included the Transportation Minister and the erudite Ms Folorunso, for various sectors and thematic areas.

The committee also defined sectoral strategies to anchor the AfCFTA Mission.

According to a release sent to DAILY TREND NEWS by Ms Folorunso, the second workshop series for transportation stakeholders is expected to hold on November 23-25, 2020, and this would lead to series of engagements with the stakeholders in the industry.

The theme of the workshops is “Nigeria, the Transportation Hub for AfCFTA”

You will recall that Nigeria signed and recently ratified the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA agreement seeks to create a single market for made-in Africa goods and services to boost intra-Africa trade and deepen economic integration of African countries.

By providing preferential access to made-in-Nigeria goods in African markets, the AfCFTA is expected to boost Nigeria’s non-oil exports, create jobs and attract investments and ultimately enable Nigerian business to develop capacity and competitiveness to export our products and services to the world.

In view of the expected strategic and transformative effect of the AfCFTA on Nigerian businesses and economy, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a National Action Committee on AfCFTA on 20th December 2019 to coordinate Nigeria’s implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.

This Committee has been mandated to coordinate public and private sector actors to undertake a wide range of readiness interventions to prepare Nigerian business to benefit from the AfCFTA Agreement while mitigating its threats.

It has been recognized that for Nigeria to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA Agreement, it must mobilize the private sector to explore African markets; grow their internal capabilities to comply with international rules; and invest in production capacity and productivity upgrades.

Similarly, federal and state government will have to streamline, update and enforce policies, regulations and laws to improve ease and cost of doing business and secure access to African markets for our businesses.

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