By EricJames Ochigbo
The House of Representatives has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).
This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Odebunmi Dokun (APC-Oyo) at plenary on Tuesday.
Earlier, Dokun recalled that Buhari, at the extra-ordinary session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of States and Governments in Niamey, Niger Republic, signed the AFCFTA on behalf of the counrty.
He said Buhari, while signing the agreement, stated that the Nigerian government would seek to include terms that would engender the development of policies that would promote African production.
The legislator said that the President deserve commendation for signing the agreement which is of great significant for the country.
He said Buhari had taken steps to place Nigeria in the right place in the continent through the signing of the pact.
Dokun said Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa, should in line with the agreement, define various ways to optimise benefits accruable from the pact.
He said the country must ensure that its exports to other African markets surpassed its imports in order to have positive effects on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to him, if that is not done, the nation could be turned into a dumping ground for products from other African countries.
Dokun said that failure to do so would result in a development that would be adverse to the nation’s macroeconomic objectives.
Rep. Luke Onofiok (PDP-Akwa Ibom) said that to take the advantage of the African market, Nigeria must put some infrastructure in place.
He said that the Federal Government must invest in infrastructure such as power, rail among others as well as provide support for industries.
The house urged the federal government to set machinery in motion to ensure that Nigeria optimise the expected benefits from the agreement.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the Committees on Special Duties and Commerce (when constituted) to ensure implementation.