Nigeria is already missing out on the list of countries that are either trading or set to trade six months after trading began under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Mr Chigozie Chikere, a lecturer at the Institute of Maritime Studies, University of Lagos, stated this on Thursday, noting that it is tragic that the National Action Committee on AfCFTA in Nigeria is yet to come up with a strategy.
He recalled that Nigeria lost the chance of hosting the AfCFTA secretariat to Ghana due to the same lukewarm attitude.
“It is only a country that is running a well-defined protectionist tariff system that dilly-dallies about matters of free trade. Not a country like Nigeria that is an import destination for almost every commodity,” he lamented.
Chikere also frowned at the current administration’s policy of shutting its borders on neighbouring countries which signed the agreement.
His words, “The funny part of it all is that the Buhari government is even closing borders against neighbours with whom Nigeria signed trade liberalisation agreements under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme. Confusion, I dare say.
“A cursory glance at Nigeria’s performance since it joined ETLS in 2005 shows an economy with a promising annual balance of trade. In other words, Nigeria’s most effective way of exporting more, while still importing, is by taking seriously its trade liberalisation and free trade agreements.”
The varsity teacher maintained that Nigeria really needs to define its position as regards the economy, insisting that the government needs to get serious rather than pretend to be doing something when it was actually doing nothing.
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