- FG Seeks Creation of Continental Free Trade Area
The Federal Government on Tuesday said there was a need for the African Union Commission to quickly establish the Continental Free Trade Area so as to encourage infra-African trade.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said this in Abuja at the opening session of the first extra-ordinary meeting of the African Union Sub-committee of Directors-General of Customs.
She said the CFTA, when established, would promote the utilisation of African products and improve the economic status of its citizens.
She said while the activities of Customs at the borders could make or brake an economy, there was a need for the leadership of Customs in each African country to come up with innovative ways to expedite the movement of goods and services.
This, the minister added, should be done in a simplified and predictable manner to enhance trade facilitation and promote economic growth within the continent.
Adeosun said, “The African Union’s objectives of fostering unity, promoting economic growth and enhancing security, among others, find expression in what Customs administrations of the AU are about to do here.
“It will be appropriate here to urge you and the AU Commission to take on board the issue of 0.2 per cent import levy and come out with clear guidelines for implementation by member states as a permanent source of funding for the activities of the AUC.”
In his address of welcome, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), said the outcome of the deliberation would make business processes simpler, faster and improve the economic fortunes of the country.
“It’s our expectation that this meeting will bring all the African Union Customs administrations together to articulate a common agenda and speak in unison during the World Customs Organisation’s annual council meeting coming up in July 2017,” Ali said.