AFCFTA: Stakeholders at FDC Forum Call For Coherence In FG Policies, Unified FX In Nigeria


Tuesday, July 29, 2019/ 12.00PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong  for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: @FDC_ltd 

Stakeholders at the special policy dialogue organized by Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) agreed that there is a need for coherence in the economic management and policy framework of the Nigerian government.

The business leaders, economists and policymakers who converged in Lagos also called for policy change to unify exchange rates between the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official market and the non-official rates in parallel private markets, to provide a resolution to the problems associated with the country’s multiple exchange rates.

In his opening remarks, the CEO of FDC Mr. Bismark Rewane said that through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), African nations could achieve structural change by increasing production efficiency and the spread of technology and innovation.

Rewane, an economist, believed that Nigeria must adopt structural reforms to complement its quest to become a competitive economy.

The economist's position was supported by the Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Nigeria, Dr. Amine Mati who reemphasized the need for Nigeria to address the issue of multiple foreign exchange rates.

Mati noted that having a unified exchange rate was vital for Nigeria; he noted that beyond exchange rate unification the country needed several structural and fiscal reforms which would include improved revenue mobilization, good governance and increased investments in the public sector.

According to Mati economies with multiple exchange rates experience lower growth rates and higher inflation rates.

The Executive Secretary of Business Made Easy in Nigeria, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole who represented the Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, reassured stakeholders that the Federal Government was committed to improving the Nigerian business environment and increasing foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the country.

She said the establishment of the National Action Committee (NAC) on the AfCFTA by President Muhammadu Buhari, was an attestation to the value the government places on coordinating the trade agreement process for Nigeria.

Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe the Director-General of the National Office of Trade Negotiations, NOTN, said in the area of the Rules of Origin, Nigeria had implemented 88.8% of the process.

He added that this was the best time for trade integration, which will allow Nigeria to access trade and investments, that is key for jobs and industrialization.

Economist Dr. Ayo Teriba, a panellist at the event, made a strong case for African countries to reposition themselves to tap in the global share of liquidity, through capital inflows and foreign direct investments.

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