Exporters and would-be-exporters in Kwara state have been trained on ways to maximize benefits offered by the African Continental Free Trade agreement (AFCFTA) in order to increase value and volume of Nigerian export trade.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NEPC Dr. Ezra Yakusak spoke on role of AFCFTA in growth and development of intra African trade at a workshop organized by the legal unit of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in conjunction with Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) in Ilorin.
Yakusak said that member countries require some basic knowledge of laws, treaties and conventions governing trade to maximally benefit from AFCFTA.
Dr. Ezra Yakusak, was represented by the NEPC’s Head of Legal Unit, Barrister Julie Onmoke.
She said that this is expedient, “since ignorance in law is no defence”.
“Nigeria has to ensure that it is not made a dumping ground after the coming into effect of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
“The responsibility to ensure that it is done rests with the Council. Therefore, there is need to properly equip exporters and would-be-exporters on how to navigate the export corridor,” she said.
Mrs. Onmoke, who said that the NEPC recently issued grants to deserving companies under the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP), added that the grant is expected to spur the exporters to increase the volume and value of their export.
“This is more so in view of the coming into effect of AFCFTA, which is billed to increase trade among African countries”, she said.
Also speaking, the Trade Promotion Advisor, Ilorin Export Assistance Office, Mr. Ajayi Akinwumi, said that AFCFTA is billed to increase trade among African countries.
He added that the aim of the workshop amongst others is to develop the capacity of the exporting communities on the available knowledge, laws, regulations and provision of necessary information regarding the operations of AFCFTA to enable exporters have maximum benefit and utilize the opportunities offered by AFCFTA to increase the value and volume of Nigerian export trade.
He urged the the participants to take advantage of the programme to advance economy of individual state and Nigeria.
Some of the participants include government functionaries, organized private sector (OPS) as well as the existing and intending exporters.