TUE 16 MARCH, 2021-theGBJournal- ‘’While the take-off of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) should be lauded, much work remains to be done as critical parts of the agreement are yet to be finalised,’’ Mrs Toki Mabogunje, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce Industry (LCCI) President said during her address today at an interactive session put together by the Chamber to discuss the AfCFTA.
According to her, Several Key issues including schedules of tariff concessions, schedules of service commitment, rules of origin, investment, competition policy and intellectual property rights have not been concluded.
‘’There is still lack of clarity on the type of value addition that must occur within an AfCFTA State party for a product to benefit from tariff reduction,’’ she said, adding that ‘’a great deal of sensitization and enlightenment still need to be done on the implementation modalities, and this forms the basis for putting this event together.’’
Mabogunje noted that the implementation of the agreement has commenced, and some countries have started to trade under the new trade protocol. But many others, including Nigeria, are yet to commence trading.
‘’Therefore, it has become necessary to deliberate on how we can expedite the implementation of the agreement across countries on the continent.’’
The theme of the deliberation today is ‘African Continental Free Trade Agreement: Roadmap to Successful Implementation’.
The event is part of the public engagement series of the Lagos Chamber and is aimed at facilitating discussions among stakeholders on the appropriate policy steps that would ensure a speedy and effective implementation of the continental trade agreement.