The President and Chairman,Afreximbank,Professor Benedict Oramah has disclosed that the bank has set aside billions of Dollars to ensure that the African continental free trade agreement works out successfully.Even as Ray Echebiri, a board member of the lecture organiser, collaborated his assertion by disclosing that the export bank has various good financial products for interested Africans.
Speaking at the yearly Bullion Lecture organised by Centre for Financial Journalism at the Civic Centre.V.I,Lagos Tuesday Prof Oramah said that the hope of the bank is that the countries who are yet to sign the agreement will sign so that Africa will have a chance of changing its future.
Speaking at the event chaired by Dr Uche Olowu President/Chairman Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN)and graced by the who is who in Nigeria’s finacial circles Oramah expressed the hope that Africa is about to wake from its economic slumber.
Dr Olowu had in his contribution said it was better for Nigeria to sign the agreeement being the giant of Africa and the mover of the idea over the years.
However,Muda Yusuf of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry(LCCI)was of the view that we should properly understand our economy so that signing such agreement ends up benefiting the country.
It was his views that Nigeria’s economy was weak on manufacturing and trade but strong in the area of services,saying that over 50% of our economy is dominated by the services sector.
But in the views of Ade Adefeko of Olams Nigeria its high time we become Afro-centric about our economy and trade,saying that Olams was founded in Nigeria and is now in 66 countries of the world.
Maxwell Okeke ,formerly of Zenith Bank PLC was of the conviction that Nigeria should be careful in signing some of these regional agreements so that the small countries across the continent does not use her as a fall guy,stressing that the Nigerian environment appear to be unfavourable to producers or manufacturers who prefer the various small nations around Africa.