By Chibuike Nwabuko
Federal Government has on Thursday launched a National Committee to negotiate for the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) with a focus of creating win-win partnerships that will drive inward investment; support Nigerian exporters of goods and services to secure expanded market access in other African economies.
The terms of reference of the committee are : to serve and advise government, as the national multi-stakeholder technical platform on the CFTA Negotiations, across all the negotiating areas, including, but not limited to goods, services, investment, competition and intellectual property; monitor the negotiations and undertake analysis to ensure that the negotiations and emerging results approximate the goals for the negotiations established by the Government; identify the opportunities and challenges facing the country in trade with other African countries, both intra and Inter-Regional Economic Communities (REC); and, participate in the negotiations, as appropriate.
Inaugurating the committee, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelemah, informed that the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) will henceforth, be part of the Nigerian negotiating team for the CFTA, as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Committee members are drawn from Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; office of the Vice President; Ministry of Budget and National Planning; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Finance; Nigeria Customs Service; Nigeria Immigration Service; Central Bank of Nigeria; Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture; NESG; Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission;
Other members include the National Bureau of Statistics; National Association of Nigerian Traders; Nigeria Export Promotion Council; National Coalition of Service Industry; National Association of Small Scale Industries; Representatives of Academia; Representatives of Digital Economy (Jumia, Iroko and Andela).