The Nigerian government has ratified her participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
They took the decision at the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to journalists at the end of the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
AfCTA 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 said, “The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment presented a memo asking the Federal Executive Council to ratify Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
On July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.
The effective date ought to have been July 2020 but because of the pandemic, it was postponed to January 1, 2021, and all member-states were given up to December 5 to ratify the agreement.
Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of the membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Effectively, we hope that by January 1, 2021, the agreement will come into force,” Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed remarked.
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