Maritime stakeholders, manufacturers, captains of industries, government agencies and others are set to brainstorm on the benefits and challenges of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to Nigeria.
A two day national workshop with the theme: “AfCFTA: Boosting Nigeria’s Economy for Sustainable Development” is being organised by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) to further sensitise Nigerians and Maritime stakeholders on the challenges and benefits of AfCFTA that will affect Nigeria when the agreement kicks -off in March next year.
The workshop which is scheduled to hold from 20th- 21st November 2019 at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, will be the first of its kind in the maritime industry since President Mohammadu Buhari signed the AfCFTA deal in July 2019.
Expected to deliver a keynote address at the event is the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo, while the Honourable Minister of state for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki will be the special guest of honour at the event.
According to the President of AMJON, Paul Ogbuokiri, the Nigerian media should be at the forefront of not only championing the successful implementation of the AfCFTA agreement, but should also sensitise Nigerians on the benefits and challenges of the continental deal and draw government attention to the gray areas which may hinder Nigeria benefiting from the 54 African countries trading deal.
Ogbuokiri said “It has been the tradition of AMJON to gather stakeholders and relevant government agencies to brainstorm on critical issues that affects Nigerians and the economy.
“This AfCFTA national workshop is another of AMJON’s advocacy project to seek stakeholders preparedness and government readiness to weather the storm with other African countries, about 54 of them to see that Nigeria fully maximizes the continental trade deal.
“The question is, is Nigeria ready for AfCFTA implementation which is three months away?. What are the challenges? What are the various ministries, departments and agencies of government expected to drive the process for the successful implementation of the AfCFTA doing? We want them to come and tell Nigerians”, Ogbuokiri said.
The AMJON president also added that his group has always been in the forefront of championing profitable economic policies that will benefit Nigerians and the maritime industry and called on all stakeholders to partner with the media group to make sure Nigeria succeeds in the AfCFTA deal.
The two day event will attract presentations from Nigerian Export -Import Bank (NEXIM), Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Others are NSC, SON, NAFDAC, ANLCA, NAGAFF among others.
It could be recalled that Nigeria had signed the AfCFTA agreement in July 2019 making her 54th country to join the continental trade agreement.
The deal is among other things, expected to drive free and unhindered trading of goods and services produced within the African Continent among African countries without hindrances.
The agreement is proposed to kick -off in March 2020.
The highlight of the event will be the induction of Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike, National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ( ANLCA) as AMJON PATRON.