Discussants at the 45th annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrations of Nigeria (ICSAN) have harped on the importance of harnessing the potentials of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by African countries.
The objective of the agreement signed by African countries in Kigali, Rwanda in March, 2018 but came into effect in January 2021 is to create a single market, deepen economic integration and aid the movement of capital and people, thereby facilitating investment and trade through removal of bottlenecks such as tariffs within Africa.
Leading the discussion, Akin Oyebode, a professor of law, said AfCFTA, if properly harnessed, can indeed become the panacea for the multifarious socio-economic difficulties afflicting the various African countries.
Oyebode advised that the synergy activated by synchronisation with programs, policies and plans of other African countries should be tapped by the member-states in order to jump-start their economies to a higher level.
In his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, identified PPP as a key driver to the success of AFCTA. He also pledged to work with ICSAN to promote good governance.
Meanwhile, Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu was honoured with ICSAN’s Award of Excellence in Corporate Governance at the conference.
President/Chairman in Council of the Institute, Mr. Taiwo Owookalade said the Governor came top in virtually all the parameters used in rating the nominees which included two second-term Governors in the country.
Speaking after receiving the award on behalf of Governor Sanwo-Olu, his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat called on Nigerians to shun anger and fighting but to engage constructively in finding lasting solutions to the myriads of challenges and issues facing the country.