The new National President of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ide John Udeagbala has impressed on the federal government the need to domesticate the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to promote the nation’s private sector.
Udeagbala who spoke shortly after his investiture ceremony in Aba, NACCIMA, made this appeal in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, recalled that the implementation of AfCFTA agreement commenced in January 2021 is the realisation of a dream conceived in 1963 during the establishment of Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU).
He further noted that this giant step by Africa is expected to lead to the creation of the largest trading area of 55 countries, unite over 1.5 billion people with a prospective gross domestic product (GDP) of about $3trillion.
“This is a giant leap towards increasing intra-African trade and creating collective wealth. It is also a bold step to take Africans out of poverty.
“This is why we have focused on it at this conference. We are delighted at the work of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA since its establishment and have been part of its sensitisation activities, through the NACCIMA committee on AfCFTA.”
Speaking earlier, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, immediate past National President of NACCIMA, said the the theme of the conference, tagged, “The role of the organised private sector in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development: strategic options on trading under AfCFTA,’ Hajia Aliyu said it provides opportunity for the chamber movement, to discuss how to bring about economic growth in Nigeria.
“NACCIMA as the umbrella body for all city, state, regional, bilateral, multilateral chambers of commerce, including business and professional associations in Nigeria, is willing and eager to partner all stake holders to ensure private sector operators contribute effectively towards transforming the country’s economy.”
She applauded Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for his efforts at ensuring growth of Abia economy, as a major commercial hub in Nigeria and West Africa.
She also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts in boosting commerce in Nigeria.
Mr. Francis Anatogu, senior special assistant to the President on public sector matters and secretary of the National Action Committee on AFCFTA, the keynote speaker, observed that for Nigeria to trade under AfCFTA, it must have stable environment that would support businesses to flourish.