COMMUNIQUE ON AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE-TRADE AREA (AfCFTA) AND THE NIGERIAN INVESTMENT LANDSCAPE.
ISSUED BY THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF FINANCIAL AND INVESTMENT ANALYSTS OF NIGERIA.
DATE: 21st ,July 2018, VENUE: Reiz Continental Hotel,CBD Abuja.
The Chartered Institute of Financial and Investment Analysts, Nigeria (CIFIAN) held 13th induction ceremony for the newly registered members and Mandatory Educational Training and Development (METAD) recently as approved by the Board.
The theme: AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE-TRADE AREA (AfCFTA) AND THE NIGERIAN INVESTMENT LANDSCAPE was considered, event held on Saturday, July 21st, 2018. 2:00 pm, at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja.
Technical paper was presented by Professor Jonathan Adeyemi Aremu, Professor of International Economic Relations-Covenant University, Head, Trade Policy Commission, Nigerian Investment Summit Group and also the Chairman/President of Board of the Institute.
At the end of the conference, it was unanimously agreed to draw up communiqué which was facilitated by the plenary members. (See list)
There were more than 200 participants drawn from the wide spectrum of professionals including the academia, policy makers, the legislature, the business community, the media, and members of the public, exhaustively discussed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) currently open to Nigeria’s negotiation and her signatory as a member of the African Union.
The objectives were principally to:
- Examine the costs and benefits of Nigeria’s signatory to AfCFTA on the Nigeria’s investment landscape,
- Enable the Institute make its position known on why Nigeria should sign the AfCFTA agreement already signed by 44 out of 55 African countries in March 2018.
Observations and Recommendations:
At the end of the programme, the forum made the following Observations and Recommendations:
- The African continent has remained largely poor and under developed because the continent has not fully explored its rich natural potential to foster regional and multilateral trade.
- The forum equally observed that the advancement of Africa’s regional integration which is aimed at promoting economic, social and cultural cooperation, development of the continent and member nations is hampered by the low level of commerce between and among African nations.
- The signing of stage 1 of AfCFTA comprised of protocols on agreement establishing the AfCFTA, Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and on Rules and Procedures for Settlements of Disputes took place at Extraordinary Summit of the Assembly of the AU on 21st March 2018 in Kigali, which Nigeria did not sign, due to the need to consult with its domestic stakeholders.
- The signing of the framework agreement by 44 out 55 African Countries signal political commitment to move towards deeper levels of economic integration in line with the AEC, Abuja Treaty (1991) towards agenda 2063, as well as continental vision for a single market goods and services and free movement of persons and capital and ultimately to improve infrastructure, and higher, sustainable level of socio- economic development in Africa.
- The AfCFTA will undoubtedly conscript Nigeria to undertake policy and institutional reforms pertaining to investment, trade in goods and services, custom clearance, customs revenue, granting of rights to private parties from other African countries, standards and quality of goods, health and safety among other challenges.
- The AfCFTA under negotiation,however presents challenges for Nigeria not only difficulties but opportunities for the expansion of existing market, entrance into new markets frontier, technology transfer, employment generation, expansion of investment etc. but the full and effective utilization of these opportunities could be seriously hampered by the current infrastructure deficit being experienced in Nigeria.
- It is imperative for Nigeria to sign with a view to maximizing the opportunities of wider cross-border trade and market, job opportunities, technology transfer etc. taking into consideration the macroeconomic development agenda objectives of the country.
- CIFIAN calls for the urgent improvement of state of infrastructure facilities, not limited to local and cross-border transportation system, power supply, etc. but all other sectors, for effective utilization of emerging and existing opportunities in order to achieve economic development, and growth.
- CIFIAN supports Nigeria’s decision to broaden consultation at the domestic level before signing unto stage I of the negotiation, but caution that time was essence and since failure to sign on January 2019 would demand more rigorous bilateral negotiations with individual AU member nations and
- CIFIAN calls for increased enlightenment of the legislature for effective oversight on Nigeria’s participation in the negotiation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and other similar trade agreements.
Dr Omojefe Godfrey Oke, Alhaji Ali Gunjugu, Mr Chris Kaka, Dr(Mrs) Bibiana C. Okereafor, Dr Adeika Obadeki, Dr Obinna Linus Amechi, Mrs Nanfe Obende, Mrs Peju SegunAgoro and Dr Monday Basil,
Dr Olusegun Moses Agoro (hc)
Registrar/Secretary to Council
By the Authority of the Governing Council