“The initial momentum from the signing of the agreement needs to be continued, for a greater continental impact, to benefit Africans, both on the continent and outside it”, he said.
The Senate President added that, “the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations, which is the agency of government, responsible for managing, coordinating, and leading all trade and trade related negotiations, has the clear mandate of managing Nigeria’s side of the agreement.”
According to Lawan, “Nigeria’s action in signing was not just an evidence of our commitment to the spirit of Africa, but a sign of our trust in a unified economic growth. The multiple benefit of the arrangement is also not lost on us.”
“As the biggest market and economy on the continent, we have a strategic role to play in the evolution and stabilization of the African economy. We are ready to expand the possibilities through our status, with your confidence in us, and the demands of posterity,” the Deputy Senate Leader said.
Earlier, the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, Mr. Wamkele Mene, in his speech noted that the success of the trade agreement was largely dependent on the measure of benefit accruing to African countries.
“The AfCTA, if it benefits only the big countries in Africa, is not going to work”, Mene said.
According to him, the secretariat going forward, would look up to Nigeria for guidance in coming up with policies and ways of implementing the content of the trade agreement to accommodate the interest of all African countries. (Grandnews)