By Aniekan Udofia
The Member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Onofiok Luke has called on the Federal Government to explore ways to see how the country can benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA) recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Hon. Luke made the call during plenary on Tuesday while speaking in a debate on the Motion: Need to Assess AFCTA brought to the floor of House by Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun.
In his words, “there are very crucial things to be put in place by the Federal Republic of Nigeria if we are to take the benefits of the African common market that this agreement seeks to achieve for the African continent”
He added that the federal government should invest in infrastructure so that manufacturers in the country can produce their goods at minimal cost and warned that if this is not done, manufacturers would be competing from a disadvantaged position.
The Akwa Ibom Lawmaker raised the question of how manufacturers in the country are faring badly in the face of the challenges confronting them, ranging from dwindling power supply, insecurity and the issue of tariffs.
He appealed that before the country gets the full benefit that would translate to the competitive advantage from this agreement, adequate funding must be provided to take care of infrastructure.
In a related development, Hon. Luke also made a case for the constitution of an Inter-Agency Committee by the federal government to be saddled with the task of examining burning national issues and proffer solutions to them.