Prof. Adesoji Adesugba has said that the appointment of Mr Olusegun Awolowo as Secretary, National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was a bold statement by the Federal Government to activate the law for the benefit of the Free Trade Zones, local industries and investors.
The AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063 of the African Union. It is a high ambition trade agreement with a comprehensive scope that eliminates barriers to trade in Africa.
You may recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, after months of scrutiny eventually signed the agreement on July 7, 2019 that made Nigeria a member.
Adesugba, therefore, expressed delight to the president’s continued diligent handling of all trade, industry and investment policies of government that pertained to the agreement, adding that the appointment of Awolowo to oversee the national action committee in the local implementation of the agreement was fitting.
The NEPZA Chief Executive Officer, also said that Awolowo would be operating on a familiar ground having served as the Managing Director/CEO of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) for the period of eight years.
He further explained that the bold steps taken by the government so far on the local implementation stage of the agreement were exemplary, adding that it was about time the country’s Free Trade Zones, local investors and industries took advantage of the government’s friendly policy around the agreement.
“Let me at this point congratulate Mr Segun Awolowo for his appointment and to wish him well as he frontally leads the country’s business community to boost their participation in trade on the continent.
“We are also very ecstatic with the uncommon commitment of the government in ensuring that the country takes the lead in trading across Africa. Nothing can be re-assuring to achieve this with the recent inauguration of the Deep-Sea Port located in the Lagos Free Zone by the president.’’ he said
Martins Odeh PhD
Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA
February 5, 2023