The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria has urged stakeholders to collaborate for the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
This was disclosed at the institute’s 2nd virtual International Academic Conference themed “The Commencement of AfCFTA: Opportunities for the Work Environment”.
The President and Chairman of the CIPM Governing Council of CIPM, Olusegun Mojeed, said, “There is a need to bridge the gap between the town and the gown and between academic theories and strategic human resource management by providing a platform for stimulating a highly intellectual discourse on the shared perspective of both sectors.”
Speaking on the issue of business alignment across the several countries of the African continent, a Professor of Political Economy at Lagos Business School, Pat Utomi, explained that countries across the continent needed to build trust to work together for the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.
He mentioned that the AfCFTA was already gaining traction, however, there were issues of cultural differences in doing business.
He said, “We must act locally to get people to work together across boundaries. To remedy this situation, institutions have a role to play in preserving the local content as peculiar to each country. Academicians have the role to play in sponsoring case studies on what is obtainable.”
On the way forward, Utomi said there was a need for big initiatives to fund huge trading companies across boundaries.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of Lead City University, Prof. Kabiru Adeyemo, noted that the collaboration with CIPM on the conference was to blend theory with practice and equip participants with the requisite knowledge, skills and competencies to function effectively at various levels in the industry and academia.
“The commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area is a historic moment for the continent and it presents us with a unique opportunity to transform the African economy and create new job opportunities,” he said.
In his goodwill message, the Oyo State Governor, Oluseyi Makinde, who was represented by the Head of Service, Ololade Agboola, stated that the theme was relevant at this period that the government was putting all efforts to broaden and increase the socio-economic development of the country with the formulation of various financial and economic policies.
She said, “I am aware that in May 2019, the Federal Government of Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to join other 53 African countries to establish a single market for goods and services to allow free movement of business, travellers and investments and create a continental customs union to streamline trade and attract long – term investment.”
She added that this portends great value to corporate and private business owners in Nigeria if the benefits are well harnessed and tapped.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Adebowale, who was represented by a professor of Applied Social/Health Psychology, Peter Olapegba, asserted that the theme was a topical issue with a far-reaching implication for socio-economic development for Nigeria and by extension, Africa.
He said, “It is a good thing that Africa is coming together as a force for developmental purposes as human capital is the most important asset in any organisation. Hence, it is essential to emphasise human resource development.
“To avoid a pitfall, we should consider our peculiarities as a continent and build a system that we can truly own that can work for Africa.”