‘Why Nigeria must look beyond exports’

A Professor of Economics at Covenant University, Ota, Jonathan Aremu, has said Nigeria must place equal emphasis on importation to maximally gain from the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Aremu made the call recently while presenting a paper titled ‘Accelerating the AfCFTA Implementation in Nigeria’.

The academician, who is a former Assistant Director of Research at the Central Bank of Nigeria, noted that Nigeria occupies a prominent role in African Union issues, and needs to demonstrate this position once the National AfCFTA Strategy is approved, domestication completed, and implementation commences.

He said, “There exists an incomplete perception among a lot of observers in the country that the AfCFTA is essentially about promoting exports only. Under the Balance of Payment, it is understood that every additional US dollars worth of intra-African exports must be matched by a dollar of intra-African imports simultaneously.

“It, therefore, implies that the calculation of welfare benefits of AfCFTA does not hinge on export promotion alone but hinges on larger (and cheaper) volumes of imported consumer and intermediate goods and services.

“A further consideration is that several African countries enjoy sizable positive trade balances with the rest of the continent and can thus manage the political economy by immediately increasing their imports from the rest of the continent.”


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