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‘Nigeria must adopt world standards to benefit from AfCTA’

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Nigeria must adopt global standards in doing business and infrastructure development to benefit from the advantages of the AfCTA.

The Ecobank Nigeria Managing Director /CEO, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan stated this yesterday during the panel discussion on how Nigerian businesses can capitalize on the opportunities by AfCTA. The session also looked at the constraints and how they can be tacked. Thus the Ecobank CEO said Nigeria must take deliberate efforts to make it’s business environment competitive, adding that Nigerians would have to develop the right skills else skills movements across the continent would be a disadvantage for Nigeria.

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“The Public discuss would have to change to global standards, not about what we do in Nigeria. We will have to think Africa as one market as we do in Ecobank” he said. “Nigerians have a lot of educated people but what is important is skills. The best tillers for instance in the building industry are not Nigerians. So we already know that in terms of free movement of talents and mobility, we have a long way to go” noted.”

He also said Nigeria must be competitive in power supply for businesses to thrive. “When we talk about ports, every entry and exit in Nigeria should be favourable for people to do business. That requires a lot of mind set shift” he noted.

According to him, “we have serious work to go because our neighbouring ports are more competitive. If you look at the seaports, there are more ships heading to Nigeria waiting on continental shores of Togo, rather than Nigeria. Why is it like that and what’s the implication on commence?” he asked.

He also said Nigeria must learn French and other wildly spoken languages to be competitive.

Speaking on business efficiency, he said “for us at Ecobank we had to embrace shared technology to run our business which is why we can use a card in all 36 countries we are present in Africa. We have one pan African switch.”

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