State governments in the country have been urged to take up the opportunities that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will open up on exports of local produce.

This call was made by the secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA, and the senior special assistant to the president on Public Sector Matters, Francis Anatogu, at a virtual interactive session tagged “leveraging AfCFTA opportunities – The Road Ahead’ organised by Coronation Merchant Bank.

Speaking on the opportunities for states across Nigeria, Anatogu said: “AfCFTA and exports offers us the opportunity to make every state in Nigeria economically viable and AfCFTA provide that platform. So it is really is about identifying and we have within. Some specific products when you talk about them in Nigeria comes to mind.

“In fact, it goes beyond Nigeria if you talk about Soya or Ginger, you’ll attribute it to Kaduna, or fintech and technology you’ll talk about Lagos and if we can capture up to 10 percent of Africa’s market, we would actually be doubling our export, total export revenue per annum.

“If you bring the closer as well and making every state variable that means that will not lead to business opportunity is to make every state in Nigeria provide opportunity for them to grow their local economy. Sell as much export as much as they can, and then protect their revenues as well.”

On his part, managing director of Coronation Merchant Bank, Mr. Banjo Adegbohungbe, noted that, the commencement of the AfCFTA would be a major catalyst for Africa’s recovery post-covid and urged Nigeria to fully embrace the opportunities.

Adegbohungbe said: “ we have chosen to focus today’s conversation on the AfCTA and around the opportunities we would see in the trade and finance space as we begin to prepare for the post-covid business environment.”

“Perhaps now more than ever, the expansion of Intra-Africa trade is a critical enabler for the Nigerian economy. In the African continental free trade area now enforce, the opportunities for companies and organisation to grow their business in a market of over 1 billion people with the combined GDP of $3.4 billion can no longer be ignored.”

“As Africa continues its recovery post covid, it must look inwards and strive to leverage the resources and synergies available in building trade finance and expanding intra-Africa trade not  just for the benefit for Africans but for the rest of the world.”

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