African free trade, road to service delivery excellence – Expert

The continental free trade agreement would create a market of over 1.2 billion people if all African countries signed up.

“Nigeria will excel in service delivery with the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) billed to take off in July.” These were the words of Mr Nwiabu Nuka, Executive Director of Nigeria Private Sector Alliance.

He stated this during a panel discussion organised by Greeners Business-to-Business, to mark its Annual National Economic Dialogue 2020 in Abuja.

The economic dialogue has a theme “Positioning Nigeria’s Creative Industry as Growth Engine of Africa Continental Trade Agreement (AFCTA)”.

Nuka took time to enlighten on Nigeria’s strengths especially in services which he said was the best and can be taken across the borders for the AfCFTA which the country was a signatory to.

“Nigerian music had gone global as it could be found everywhere as well as fashion which the country is also endowed with.

“Nigeria also has good food to showcase anywhere in the world not to mention the Nigerian banks which are also doing well especially as they can be found in most African countries.”

Another panellist, Mrs Ojoma Ochai, Director of Programmes, British Council Nigeria lauded the Federal Government’s new visa regime.

Ochai said before the take-off of AfCFTA, those that wanted to come for businesses in Nigeria and were hindered due to difficulties in accessing visa could now leverage on this policy.

She urged government at all levels to give opportunities to every Nigerian youth even the weak ones.

She added that attention should be given to both exceptionally talented youth and the weak to develop themselves and contribute to society.

Also contributing, Ms Iyalode Alaba Lawanson, former President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), said Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) was critical to economic development hence government should focus on that.

Lawanson also urged young entrepreneurs to go through mentorship adding that mentoring was important in MSMEs.

She enjoined entrepreneurs to be self-disciplined and focused in their undertakings.

Suzan O