AfCFTA: Nigeria could lose agri-food exports to 1.2 billion consumers – Okakpu

The African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to lift millions of people out of poverty and end food insecurity on the continent, but Nigeria has not been positioned as the ‘real’ player. agro-export within the framework of this agreement.

Captain John T Okakpu, Managing Director / Managing Director of abx world Limited, dropped the hint over the weekend, noting that the country’s participation and AfCFTA’s gains in the agricultural value chain, depend on the effectiveness and implementation of government policies, especially in the agricultural sector. sector. He said the AfCFTA would form a $ 3.4 trillion economic bloc, which Nigeria cannot afford to leave.

Available reports show that trade between African nations in agricultural commodities as a percentage of Africa’s total agricultural trade has long remained below 20 percent, one of the lowest of any region. Total trade between African countries was only 2% during the period 2015-2017, compared to 67% for trade between European countries, 61% in Asian countries and 47% in the Americas, according to the United Nations trade agency UNCTAD. Now the ZLECA intends to change the narrative. It created the world’s largest free trade zone, representing the market of 1.2 billion consumers, and requires states to remove tariffs and non-tariffs in order to boost shipments and services between nations and thus stimulate economic growth.

“If you look at the trend, Africa is exporting agricultural products such as tomatoes, onions, vegetables, cocoa, coffee, cotton, yam tobacco and spices to the nations of the world to earn money. important foreign currencies.

But the continent imports important foods such as grains, vegetable oils, dairy products and meat in large quantities. Now, our neighboring countries have positioned themselves to benefit from the AfCFTA by putting in place robust logistics and profitable export systems.

“So looking at it critically, our logistics costs have cemented our losses on AfCFTA unless we tackle it now,” said Captain Okakpu Sai.


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