The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reported that full implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement could afford companies preferential access to African markets worth $504.17 billion in goods.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said in a his remarks at the Zenith Bank’s 2021 Export Seminar held virtually in Lagos where he said that additional $162 billion in services will also come to Nigeria.
The CBN boss urged Nigerian businesses to seize the AfCFTA opportunity to ensure that Nigeria serves as a significant hub for international and domestic manufacturing companies seeking to serve the West, Central and East African Markets.
He said that Nigeria has a very young energetic, technological savvy population that have been leveraging technological applications to improve service delivery in the areas of finance, logistics and agriculture to consumers in Nigeria.
“I believe the AFCFTA will provide an opportunity for these young talented Nigerians to expand their services across the African region.
Developing trade portals that could support instant sales of goods manufactured in Nigeria to consumers in other parts of Africa is one aspect that can help to support the creation of jobs in Nigeria and improve foreign exchange inflows for the country,” he said.
Emefiele said Nigerian banks are already playing a significant role in expanding across the African continent.
“I would like to encourage them to also leverage their presence in other parts of Africa, to support Nigerian businesses seeking to expand into new markets in Africa, by providing trade facilities to those with strong potentials for growth,” he said.
Emefiele said the apex bank has taken considerable steps to improve the productive capacity of businesses, which would enable them take advantage of export opportunities in Africa.
“Our intervention programs in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, are helping to enable businesses expand their scale of production, which is meeting growing domestic demand for goods, but also providing goods for the export market.”
He said the apex bank set up a N500 billion non-oil export stimulation facility with the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM).
“This initiative will also help to enable greater exports of processed agriculture commodities into other markets in Africa and in the global market,” he said .