The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has resolved to fastrack the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Initiative by exploring the $70 billion economic viability of the telecommunications sector in the African market.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta made the assertion at a sensitization workshop for communications industry on the implications of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) held in Kano state north western Nigeria.
He said the free trade agreement will enable the agency improve the competitiveness of the over $70 billion market share of the Nigerian Communications sector on the African Continent.
“NCC is propelling investment and economic activity in the communication industry to protecting the interest of the Government, investors and consumers as AfCFTA will create the world’s largest free trade area, estimated to lead about 60 per centuries boost in intra-African trade by 2022.
The Federal Government’s aspirations to advance Nigeria’s economic development through continuous encouragement of pro-trade, pro-business, pro-investment and pro-export measures are in sync with the mandate of the commission,” he explained.
According to him, the workshop serves as an avenue for generating feedback, identifying possible areas of interest for industry stakeholders and evolving a Roadmap for the future trajectory of the industry in the context of the Continental Free Trade Area.
The Chairman of NCC Board, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, said based on the agreement and the subsequent effort of the NCC, “Nigeria now has access to extend communications services to 1.2 billion people across the African continent, with a larger population made of young people, whose appetite for data and mobile services continues to grow.”
AfCFTA is an initiative of the Africa Union,AU, with the main objective of creating a single continental market for goods and services, in addition to facilitating free movement of investment and people across the entire African continent.
Nigeria joined the list of African countries to sign the trade pact when President Muhammadu Buhari on July 7th, 2019, endorsed the AfCFTA Agreement at the AU Summit in Niamey, Niger.