Home Lagos Lagos State Technical Working group sensitises stakeholders on AfCFTA

Lagos State Technical Working group sensitises stakeholders on AfCFTA

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The Lagos State Technical Working Group (STWG) on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) commenced the sensitisation of stakeholders and local communities on how they can take advantage of the benefits of the continental trade agreement.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives (MCIC), Mrs. Adetutu Ososanya, FCA, who led members of the Group on a visit to Vegetable Farm Cluster, Araga; Alaro City and Lekki Free Zone at Epe and Ibeju Lekki Local Government axis on Wednesday, said the tour is part of the steps being taken to chart a roadmap for the State’s participation in AfCFTA as it cannot afford to be left behind.

She said, “One of the mandates of the State Technical Working Group is to mobilise the grassroots towards benefitting from AfCFTA.

“Our visit is therefore to galvanise stakeholders to have a common front on AfCFTA as the State Government, under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is very much interested in opening the space for our people to participate in AfCFTA.”

She called for the support and collaboration of all stakeholders as the only way Lagos State can make bold statements in terms of real benefits to indigenous entrepreneurs.

Deputy Managing Director, Lekki Free Zone Development Company, opined that the Development Company takes cognizance of the need to grow local production capacity to meet export needs through AfCFTA and it has deliberately been working, including providing factory units for MSMEs to be able to produce for export.

Regional Coordinator, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Akintunde Folorunso averred that the Group is working to ensure visibility for local products and services while expressing optimism about potential benefits that will come to the State.

He said the Group is willing to ensure producers access needed assistance while it will also support the deployment of a Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism for effective performance measurement.

Chairman, of the Lagos State Branch of National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Dr. Adams Adebayo opined that the mission of the Group is to find out how entrepreneurs are operating and how they can do it better as the ultimate goal is to guide them in the use of appropriate technology, increase their capacity, improve market access and eliminate wastage.

He also said that the establishment of storage and preservation facilities at the Export Processing Zones will further assist local MSMEs in exporting their products.

Chief Operating Officer, Alaro City, Odema Ogbeh, while appreciating the State Government for the privilege of the partnership that birthed the landmark project also noted that Alaro City has done so much within the Free Zone space to ensure the domestication of production processes and support to entrepreneurs in the State.

On the tour with the Permanent Secretary, were: the Regional Coordinator, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Akintunde Folorunso; the representative of Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Babawale Thompson-John; Chairman, Lagos State Branch of National Association of Small and Business Enterprises (NASME), Dr. Adams Adebayo; Director of Trade, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Sunnie Omeiza-Michael; Head of Administration, Ikeja Branch of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Betty Chika Ojinnaka and some Management and Staff of MCIC.

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