AfCFTA: Harmonize Policies To Attract Large-Scale Investments To Nigeria – Gov Badaru

AfCFTA: Harmonize Policies To Attract Large-Scale Investments To Nigeria – Gov Badaru
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BY MIMIDOO PATRICK

Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar says harmonized policies, laws, and regulatory procedures would improve the ease of doing business nationally and sub-nationally to attract large-scale investments in the country.

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Abubakar, who stated this at the ongoing Subnational Strategy Workshop on AfCFTA organised by the National Action Committee on AfCFTA in collaboration with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, in Abuja, noted the Federal Government is expected to ramp up skills acquisition for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, to improve their readiness for sub-national participation in the competitive market emerging from the AfCFTA.

He said if the right  mechanisms are put in place, it  would prevent distortions and discrimination in trade and investment under the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA deal.

He said tax rights under AfCFTA must also be mutually beneficial, including cross-jurisdiction income or profit flows such as withholding taxes on payments to non-residents.

Speaking on the benefit of the AfCFTA, the governor said at the federal level, Nigeria is already utilizing regional trade opportunities, contributing approximately 76% of total trading volumes in the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, region.

According to him, “We strongly believe this number can improve when sub-nationals participate actively in regional trade.

“The increase of direct investment and creation of new business opportunities for multiple sectors within each sub-national’s economy including the distribution and logistics supply chain, as well as transportation infrastructure by putting in place progressive policies and simplified customs procedures, making sub-nationals and intra-Africa trade more enticing for domestic producers.

On her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning , Zainab Ahmed, said Nigeria has undertaken a series of actions to enable it fully exploit the opportunities of the AfCFTA .

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Ahmed  urged the National Action Committee on Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA and other relevant MDAs to institute formal framework for engagement between National, State and Local actors to enhance AfCFTA as a national strategy.

The minister who was represented by Deputy Director Public Private Partnership, Jumai Katagum said ” For Nigeria to maximally exploit the opportunity presented by the AfCFTA, all economic sector tiers of government and human capacities must be evidently involved”.

“The ongoing workshop and technical sessions is in furtherance of the National consultation across the states which where undertaken between March and June 2021”.

She said that at the end of the workshop, results in policy recommendations to assist States and local government identify and harness areas of competitive advantages should be acquired.

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