FG Ratifies Nigeria’s AfCTA Membership
The Federal Executive Council has ratified Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The decision was taken on Wednesday at the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria had on July 7, 2019 signed its membership in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU).
The Federal Government’s approval comes less than two months before the official take off date of the AfCFTA implementation scheduled to begin on Jan. 1, 2021.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
AfCFTA was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations.
The main objectives of the AfCFTA are to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs Union.
Mohammed said with the ratification, Nigeria has beaten the December 5, 2020 deadline set for all countries to ratify their membership.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, said the Federal Executive Council’s approval of ratification of the AfCFTA agreement demonstrates Nigeria’s economic leadership position on the continent.
Adebayo, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media on Abuja, Ifedayo Sayo, said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice would prepare the instrument of ratification.
According to him, the instrument of ratification would be prepared for President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent for onward transmission to the African Union, the legal depository of all instruments of ratification.
“With the approval of the agreement, Nigeria joins other African nations who have already ratified the agreement to become a State Party to the agreement.
“With this ratification, Nigeria is on course to participate in trading under the AfCFTA region.
‘This is a huge step forward for the nation, and further demonstrates to the world, Nigeria’s economic leadership position on the African continent,” he said.
By Peace Obi