The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has indicated that if implemented properly, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to raise over 100 million Africans out of poverty while improving earnings, including those of women and unskilled workers.
Mr Osita Nwanisobi, the bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, said this on Thursday, October 7, 2021, during the 16th International Trade Fair organized by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Mr Nwanisobi stated that the primary purpose of the apex bank was to restore economic stability by aiding individuals, SMEs, and significant enterprises that had been severely harmed by the virus, as well as the 2020 lockdown measures.
He stated that the Anchor Borrowers Programme gave over N756 billion to 3.7 million farmers growing over 4.6 million hectares of farmland through the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
Mr Nwanisobi, speaking on the topic “Exploring the Opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” stated:
“AfCFTA also gives Nigeria and other member countries access to a large market by facilitating the movement of capital, people, goods, and services within the free trade zone.”
“Similarly, if implemented successfully, it will facilitate an increase in trade volumes, competitive prices, and technological transfers among member countries; and serve as a potential to boost intra-African trade, lift over one hundred (100) million Africans out of poverty while increasing wages, including those of women and unskilled workers.”
“At the Central Bank, we continue to take active steps and implement policies to promote growth and a sound financial system, which would promote economic development, restore confidence in the economy, and effectively conserve reserves.”
He urged Nigerians to focus on producing items where the country has a comparative advantage “…and also buy Nigerian products to grow Nigeria as a nation that is completely self-sufficient in producing what we consume and creating jobs for our youth will ultimately drive sustainable growth that will make life better for all of our citizens.”
The apex bank’s spokesman stated that the institution will “not rest on its oars until Nigeria reaches its destination of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development” under the leadership of its Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.