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AFCTA: Senate asks FG on national industrial policy, infrastructure plan

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The Senate on Thursday charged the Federal Government to develop a national industrial policy and infrastructural development masterplan to aide the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) agreement.

The upper chamber also urged the government to create more economic zones to reduce the cost of production across the country.

The resolutions were arrived at during a debate on a motion moved by Senator Barau Jibrin regarding Nigeria’s membership of AFCTA.

The Senate also urged the government to pay more attention to the existing industrial hubs by creating the required infrastructure to as incentive local investors.

Read also: Afreximbank: AfCTA boosting intra-African trade, empowering economies

The upper chamber similarly directed the relevant government agencies to enlighten the Nigeria business community with the view to leveraging on the benefits of the agreement.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to continue to on its policy on infrastructure, particularly electricity, roads and other others.

It further noted that the provision of infrastructure would bring about a reduction in production cost and enable investors bridge competition in cost and production gaps.

The lawmakers also tasked the government on providing the enabling environment and take initiatives required to drive the country’s membership of the AFCTA.

The senators particularly urged the government to ensure that policies and programmes constitute a large part of the nation’s system to achieve the vision and mission of the agreement.

They also tasked the government on the need to develop and put in place a robust AFCTA implementation plan of action to fast track the programme.

The Central Bank (CBN) was also asked to create an enabling monetary policy environment for the country to take advantage of the agreement.

While speaking on the matter, the President of the Senate,  Dr Ahmad Lawan, said, “This particular agreement is going to spur us into ensuring that we take the appropriation of 2020 more seriously and we have to be more focused

“Those areas that were challenged must be addressed for businesses to get the conducive environment of employment opportunities, wealth creation and so many other things that will be to the benefit of our people.

“I believe that we can do this together with the executive arm of government”.

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