Nigeria will sign the Continental Africa Free Trade Area Agreement in March as part of efforts to prioritise trade as a significant instrument for reform in the country.
President Muhammad Buhari Buhari said on Saturday at the opening of the 39th Kaduna International Trade Fair that the agreement would promote regional trade.
“One of the important initiatives of our government is the Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council, which is a partnership of the government with the private sector meant to solve difficult problems militating against industrialization,” he said.
“Right now, the intra African trade is less than 15%; other regions of the world are well over 50%, so we want to move that of intra Africa to about 30% so as to grow”.
The President said that, “other policies being pursued will promote export by establishing special economic growth zones where Nigeria and International businesses would have the required infrastructure”.
He also promised to make Nigeria among the most safest and attractive investment destinations in the world.
The President, who was represented by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, said the administration “is prioritising the industrial sector by focusing on rebuilding infrastructure.
He mentioned that the theme of the fair, ‘Promoting Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for International Competitiveness’ was in line with the economic recovery and growth plan of the country.
Mrs Iyalode Lawson, President, National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Industry, said the theme underscored the riding interest in the competitiveness of locally produced goods and services.
“KADCCIMA should also show its support to the efforts of both the State and Federal government towards reviving the economy, particularly investing in agriculture, manufacturing, technology and other commercial activities”.
Lawson hoped that the fair would increase exposure to global brands of businesses.