September 04 (THEWILL) – Nigerian Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo instructed African Union (AU) member states to ratify agreements under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
These include the protocols on the free movement of persons, the right of residence and the right of establishment.
Professor Osinbajo spoke at the MAN @ 50 round table on industrialization in Africa on the theme: “Positioning African countries for economic transformation and continental free trade”.
A statement by Omotayo Okewunmi, public relations manager of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), citing Osinbajo, said the ratification would boost trade and regional value chains.
He said African governments must provide a stable environment that avoids price volatility, sharp deteriorations in the current account and budget deficits, and the rapid build-up of the debt burden.
The Vice-President stressed the importance of well-negotiated rules of origin in the context of the free trade agreement, which he said is essential to prevent transshipment and diversion of trade.
He urged nations to adopt the right kind of macroeconomic and industrial policies.
Osinbajo advised MAN to get involved in an advisory capacity with the government.
He further called for the ease of cross-border payments to develop and deepen inter-regional and continental payment systems.
He said: “It is particularly important in this regard to rapidly operationalize Afreximbank’s efforts to establish a pan-African payment and settlement platform.
“This will go a long way in creating the desired continental payment system and facilitating informal cross-border trade, estimated at around $ 93 billion per year.”