Do you think Nigeria has what it takes to benefit from AfCFTA?

Rev Jonathan Nicol (President Shippers Association of Lagos)

AfCFTA is a good idea because we are working towards a free-trade region. It all depends on the managers, because they signed the ETLS treaty, it didn’t work, they signed the African Union treaty, it didn’t work. Eventually, it is Nigeria that is paying for other countries, which is not supposed to be. It is unfortunate that we cannot handle our economic issues properly, but we feel there is a particular thing that is giving the people at the helm of affairs problems. Is it corruption? Is it the inability to manage resources? Is it planning? But we have professors all over the place. So, I think that something is missing if we cannot benefit from AfCFTA.

Kayode Farinto (Vice President ANLCA)

The major problem we have is unpreparedness and the fact that the federal government has failed to carry stakeholders along and with this Nigeria may become a dumping ground even though we have the market, but we have failed to prepare.

Chief Osita Chukwu (Freight Forwarder)

Yes, I believe we have all it takes to benefit from AfCFTA, but lack of preparation will hinder those benefits. I will say lack of infrastructure will also affect us, look at the state of our infrastructure, take for instance the port, unless something is done urgently regarding this Nigeria may lose out.

Aminu Umar (Ship Owner)

There are lot of things to be put in place in other for us to grab the opportunity and the main purpose of AfCFTA is to boost inter-African trade, and I think in other to boost inter- African trade, there are policies, processes as well as procedures that need to be put in place in Nigeria, in other for us to encourage Nigerians to cease that opportunity of partnering and doing business within African. I believe it is either some of those policies are not there or they are there, but not implemented or applied properly. There is also need to look at the cost of doing business in Nigeria. So really I think there many things to be looked at in other to make us competitive and to seize the opportunity that are coming up with this African trade, if not we will end up being the dumping ground and everybody  will utilize Nigeria’s  market why we won’t be able to get anything out.

Frank Ogunojemite (President APFFLON)

I see no benefit Nigeria could derive from that, she is actually not prepared for It, if we look at the prospect within Nigeria itself are they things to write about, what are we producing in Nigeria? I see no benefit that Nigeria will derive from AfCFTA. I did a press release about a month ago that Nigerians are not ready for this, the port operation is in shamble, we have been struggling about the gridlock for how many years, Nigeria will end up being dumping ground. 

John Aluya (Vice President MAN)

We have been advocating from day 1 that we do not have the right infrastructure to derive the appropriate form AfCFTA, and that position has not changed, with the size of our economy, we are supposed to be the biggest beneficiary of AfCFTA but with no infrastructure we will become a dumping ground. Nigeria infrastructure is the major problem.