MSMEs to be Sensitised as AFCFTA Implementation Underway

Patience Olumati Abuja

As Nigeria prepares for the implementation of Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo has called for the sensitisation of the Medium, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enable them to benefit from the market.

He stated this at the Roundtable Dialogue on AfCFTA Agreement organised by the Nigeria’s Employers Consultative Association (NECA) in Abuja.

Speaking on a report entitled “Continental Integration and the Nigerian Economy”, which focused on the effect of the agreement on MSMEs, Otunba Adebayo explained that the report was based on surveys conducted for 1,800 MSMEs in five states, covering multiple sociocultural zones, to evaluate their awareness and preparedness.

He noted that from the findings, adequate dissemination of information was needed to ensure that the MSMEs successfully utilize the agreement.

The Minister pointed out that Nigeria, as the largest economy in Africa, had the potential to greatly increase its trading volumes, production capacity and generation of foreign investments.

“It is necessary that we understand the full-scale impact that AfCFTA will have on all people and businesses, especially in terms of job creation and economic activities…effectively utilise the opportunities that will be created by this trade agreement to develop our local production capacity and achieve our industrial aspirations”.

MSMEs form the backbone of the private sector and contribute more than 90% of our GDP. With more than 40 million MSMEs in existence, employing close to 75% of the Nigerian workforce, the impact of AfCFTA on the Nigerian economy will be significant, he added.

Otunba Adebayo said the outcomes documented in the report would play a key role in determining the strategies that Nigerian businesses would need to take to thrive post-AfCFTA.

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