By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, of Kaduna State on Tuesday said that the Federal Government needs to rapidly invest in electricity or create an environment that will attract a lot of investments into electricity.
The governor stated this when the delegation of National Action Committee on African Continent Free Trade Area Agreement came to Government House in Kaduna.
The governor said since his five years plus experience in trying to run the state, “I think the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement is a landmark, it is something commendable, it is time to start trading within its borders, we trade more with Europe, Americas and China.
“At least from official statistics, there is a lot of trade between Nigeria and Republic of Niger, Chad and Benin Republic, a lot of it is informal it is not recorded, customs duty’s export taxes are not payable.
“It is time to drop all those barriers and just open up the continent for retrade which in the long run will benefit everyone but in short run there are challenges to be met.”
el-Rufai stressed the need to look at all these rules and restrictions, and just do away with them, so that NIgeria’s enterpreneur spirit will conquer the African continent.
The governor noted that, “we have the capacity to do that, we can only do that if government frees our people and gives them the necessary incentives to compete.”
In a remarks, the leader of the delegation, National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, Aliyu Abubakar said they were in Government House to engage with the governor and his administration.
He said they will be meeting with public and private sector stakeholders, including trade and professional associations in the state.
He said: their mandate at the National Action Committee is to coordinate the activities of private and public sectors at Federal and sub-National levels to implement AFCTA for benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.
They are expected to deliver an integrated continental market of 1.27 billion consumers with aggregate GDP of USD3.4 trillion.
According to him, the core objective is to create a single market for goods, services and free movement of persons in order to deepen the economic intergrations of the African continent.