With the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Nigerian exporters have been implored to build capacity and be prepared to compete under the free trade area to avoid dumping of goods in the country.
The Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Olusegun Awolowo while receiving in his office, the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, in Abuja, said: “We (Nigerians) must be ready with an army of exporters to compete with our goods under AfCFTA to avoid dumping of foreign goods in the country”.
Speaking on Borno State, Awolowo reiterated the need to formalise trade along the border markets, which are more prevalent along the Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon border markets respectively.
He also noted that the huge potential in the state necessitates the establishment of an Export Production Village (EPV) in Gum Arabic and Sesame seed in order to enhance the quality of the commodities for export especially in terms of model farms and scaling-up production for export.
While commending the Governor for his resilience and good governance despite the incursion of insurgents, Awolowo pledged the Council’s support to the development and promotion of non-oil export under the Zero Oil Plan (ZOP) and in line with the Export Development Fund (EDF) to boost export activities in the state.
Responding, Governor Zulum appealed to the NEPC on the need to provide more export intervention projects in the state to cushion the adverse impact of the insurgency and COVID-19 pandemic on businesses in the state.
He decried the incessant felling of Gum Arabic plantations by some unscrupulous people who use it as fuel wood for cooking, noting that about 40 percent of fuel wood used in the state are from Gum Arabic.