ACFTA: Experts Seek Review Of Nigeria’s Trade Policy

The Federal government has been urged to Nigeria’s trade policy to the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) pact.

The call was made in Abuja on Monday at a maiden lecture series organised by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (FCT Chapter) with the theme; “AfCFTA & The Service Sector In Nigeria: Implications For The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

Guest Lecturer at the event, Prof. Jonathan Aremu during his presentation said Nigeria’s trade policy is outdated and not globally compliant.

Aremu, who is a Professor of International Economic Relations at the Covenant University, said Nigeria is still trade policy document of 2001/2002, even in the face of developments around the world.

“A lot of things are happening , we have to be proactive to have a competitive advantage. The services sector which previously were not contributing much, is increasing in volumes as a lot of activities are more involved in trading and services.

“Nigeria is blessed with a lot of service industries like Nollywood, Art and Craft, Creativity industries, and also e-commerce, everything is , and all these are service industries which were not captured in the earlier trade statistics.”

Aremu, while citing example of services sector such as tourism, entertainment and construction industry, professional business services, said a lot is happening globally.

He said if Nigeria successfully enters into AfCFTA and get ratified, that there would be increase in volume of trade and services in the country.

Also speaking, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Mohammed Tor, said quantity surveyors and NIQS as an institute places so much premium on capacity .

He said impact of AfCFTA would affect professional bodies in many ways and it is time to sensitize all members to key in and be proactive.

“We are here to look at how we can benefit and take advantage of the ACFTA agreement and also discuss on deliberate policies to move the institute forward,” he added.

The FCT Chapter Chairman of NIQS, Joseph Otaru, in his address said the lecture is aimed at empowering members through capacity for effective service delivery.

He said the lecture would help to redirect the chapter’s focus for members to be aware of the opportunities that are available in the AfCFTA and the need to tap into.

“We are calling on the FG to ratify the agreement so that we can explore the opportunities that are there for us.” (NAN)