THE electricity generation companies (GenCos), on Wednesday expressed hope that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement signed last Sunday in Niamey, Niger Republic by all heads of government of the African Union (AU) will boost power generation and supply in the continent.
Acting under the aegis of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), the group, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the due diligence conducted prior to the agreement and the corresponding cohesion with several interest groups has assured the operators of a conducive operational environment.
Its executive Secretary, Mrs. Joy Ogaji, said the GenCos are confident that AfCFTA will boost intra-Africa trade from the current 16 per cent to about 60 per cent.
Besides increased trade, Ogaji said there are other potential benefits of the agreements to the economy in particular and Nigerians in general.
She said: “Under the agreement, there will be no quota system; trade will be conducted according to trading capacity; exports of goods and services will be cheaper, leading to more competitive pricing.”
Besides, she said Nigerians will now enjoy easier entry (and exit) from other markets, with the cumulative result of all these benefits being a significant boost in trade, and the economy.
As the biggest economy in Africa, with gross domestic products (GDP) of about $400 billion, the APGC chief said the new agreement clearly presents the country the opportunity to play a more active role in both the regional and global economy.
She said the actualisation of this potential is predicated on the degree to which the country can achieve industrial development as an enabler for long-term sustainable growth and poverty reduction.
“The signing of the agreement is not only a welcome development, but also a stirring indication that the Buhari administration is ready for business,” Ogaji said.
According to her, the business includes the commitment by the government to address the challenges capable of hampering GenCos from discharging their mandates.
“The critical role of power as a veritable physical infrastructural tool for economic growth, industrialisation and development cannot be over-emphasised