Economy and Finance Development expert, Tunde Olatunji, says the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari has the potential of boosting the nation’s economy if well utilised.
Olatunji, who is also the Chief Whip of Osun House of Assembly, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Monday in Osogbo.
NAN recalls that Nigeria became the 53rd country to join AfCFTA on July 7 after Buhari signed the agreement in Niamey, capital of the Niger Republic .
He said Nigeria as a nation must look at the benefits and opportunities that would accrue from the agreement.
The lawmaker, however, said the agreement might come with a ‘threat’ just like every other economic policy and programme.
He said that the opportunities and benefits the country would likely gain from agreement were significant and massive.
The lawmaker noted that government only needed to put in place measures that would counter the risk and threat that might come with it.
“With the agreement, we are looking at economic upsurge through the opportunity of doing trade and businesses with over 1.2 billion people with a cumulative Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in excess of $2.2 trillion.
” This is too significant for us to ignore as a nation and it will be out place for Nigeria as giant of Africa not to be part of the agreement and utilise its economic benefits,” he said.
According to Olatunji, since the Federal Government is now focusing on economic diversification and aggressively pursing the growth of the non-oil sector, it must utilise the opportunities embedded in the agreement.
He said if Nigeria could boost its Intercontinental trading through the agreement, it would rub off on the nation’s gross GDP.
“We must encourage local investment, identify our export opportunities and for me, this agreement will be of great benefit to us as a country,” Olatunji said.