The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has assured African Union Stakeholders on African Trade Policy that Nigeria will sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) in due time.
The president of ACCI, Prince Adetokumbo Kayode, gave the assurance when the stakeholders from different African countries under the AU paid a visit to the headquarters of ACCI in Abuja, yesterday.
Prince Kayode said ACCI and the private sector in Nigeria are all on board the free trade pact as it will advance trade in the country.
He told the African trade representatives that Nigeria’s commercial banks will not fund SMEs.
The industrialist said banks in Nigeria believe that projects of SMEs will fail.
He said international agencies must help African small businesses develop alternative financing mechanisms for SMEs that are sustainable.
The Regional Trade Adviser, Trade and Industry of AU, Mr. Jean Bertrand Azapmo, said the private sector in Nigeria stands to gain more from the ACFTA as it offers Nigeria access to a 1.2 million consumers market unlike Nigeria’s 200 million consumers.
He said Nigeria is already a major player in international trade and therefore well positioned to gain from the ACFTA.
He said the free trade pact will provide trade information to the private sector for players to know where the market is and how to benefit.