NIALS holds an interactive session with Amb. (Prof) Faisal Ismail, the Director of the Centre for International Trade Law
and Centre for Comparative Law in Africa, University of Cape Town. The purpose of the visit is to collaborate with NIALS on research and automotive policy development especially on integration of the continental trade policies.
He also stated that, Nigeria and South Africa as large economies have a huge responsibility to revive and build a regional automotive sector by developing policies, laws and institutions in the sector. He stressed on the need for funds considering the cost of production and the need to build relationship that will stimulate local production. The meeting thus, was an opportunity for research fellows of the institute to address their concerns with regard to the ideas they are yet to develop in the ongoing book project between the CCLA/NIALS.
The Ambassador was accompanied by the Mr Wamkele Mene the Chief Negotiator in South Africa who was already in Nigeria according to the Chief Negotiator, the purpose of their visit to Nigeria are for two reasons which are: To get information on the African Continental Free trade agreement (AFCFTA) and to discuss how to develop the automotive industry. He noted that the AFCFTA is the most comprehensive free trade agreement in the world and 49 AU member states are signatory to it. There are complexities but there is need to work with Nigeria for the system not to collapse.
Prof. Peter Akper SAN, expressed the view that Nigeria was not ready at the time to sign the agreement as such the Nigerian Manufacturing sectors are worried because they are not ready to face competition. He noted also that the Nigerian Customs service are not well equipped to regulate the process and therefore will like to know how South Africa has dealt with the challenges.
The meeting ended with the Director General commending the ideas of the ambassador and his team and further summarized the meeting into three key areas, which is capacity building, developing tool kits and ramping up collaboration with the NBA and also stressing that the book project with CCLA will look at issues of integration in Africa.