Rising from a three-day sub-national strategy workshop on the implementation of AfCFTA in Abuja, stakeholders have stressed the need for states in Nigeria to develop a robust growth identification and facilitation framework that would bring about the structural transformation that is a necessary condition for sustained growth that would provide Nigeria with the necessary filip to aggressively participate in the AfCFTA market.
The stakeholders said their position is underscored by the fact that states have important roles to play in facilitating growth in industries that are in line with Nigeria’s latent comparative advantage
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the event,the secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Mr Francis Anatogu, reiterated that at the subnational level, states must necessarily pay attention to the One Local Government One Product (OLOP) model that emphasises that local government areas in the states focused on the production of those products in which they have comparative and competitive advantage.
Anatogu, said the highly- successful meeting had helped various states gain consise understanding of AfCFTA and how they can chart a definite path at the subnational level to help the country take its pride of place in the market.
Anatogu assured that the National Action Committee on AfCFTA would continue to work with Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to mobilise the states to ensure that Nigeria is a force to contend with in the AfCFTA.
For the director general of Niger State Investment Promotion, Fatima Wushishi, the North Central region would concentrate efforts on rice production across its value chain.
She advised states to see themselves as partners in progress and collaborate to make AfCFTA implentation a huge success in the country.
Wushishi therefore, canvassed for quality infrastructure provision and the institutionalisation of standards to drive the implementation of AfCFTA.
Also speaking,the coordinator, Delta Export Initiative, Mrs Shimite Bello, explained that Delta State has decided to focus energy on the production of palm oil, cassava, aquaculture, fashion, art and crafts where they have predominant advantage.
Bello, who spoke on behalf of the south-south region, said there had been delibrate efforts on the part of the region to provide not just infrastructure , but also a conducive environment that would aid the proper take-off of the implementation of AfCFTA.
Mr Olufemi Ajayi, Ekiti State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, on his part said the south- west region would look at the country’s trade policies and legal framework for the region to participate fully in AfCFTA.
Specificalky, Ayayi urged the government to streamline the mandates of regulatory institutions such as the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to avoid duplication of functions.
He disclosed that the region had constituted a Technical Working Group that would soon come up with a workable implementation plan for the region.