Nigeria’s President urged on African trade deal ratification

Nigeria had been a key backer of the plan for several years, yet suddenly pulled out last March
Nigeria's President urged on AfCTA ratification | News Central TV

A special government panel has recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari signs Nigeria up for a landmark African free trade agreement, ahead of a key meeting of African leaders.

The panel was formed by Buhari in March last year to assess the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), after Nigeria abruptly pulled out of signing the deal adopted by a majority of African nations.

“Our reports show that, on balance, Nigeria should consider joining the AfCFTA”, the panel’s chair, Desmond Guobadia, said in a statement to the president Thursday, after submitting the report.

Related: Africa’s continental free trade deal: Single market on the horizon?

The trade deal “provides immense opportunities for Nigeria’s manufacturing and service companies to expand to Africa”, Guobadia said. 

Your Friends Also Read:  President pardons 4 jailed opponents in Comoros

The panel, however, recommended Buhari delay “liberalising”  and ratifying the deal which would open Nigeria’s markets to the continent, in order to manage the agreement’s “negative impacts.”

“AfCFTA is not without major risks”, it said, warning that the deal could lead to increased smuggling and abuse of ‘rule of origin’ labels on products.

“The risk is that it will provide incentives for traders to disguise goods imported from outside the continent as made-in-Africa goods”, the report warned.

The continental pact which formally came into force last month represents an ambitious African Union (AU) plan that seeks to integrate and boost intra-African trade.

Nigeria had been a key backer of the plan for several years, yet suddenly pulled out last March, days before other African countries endorsed the document at a summit in Rwanda.

Your Friends Also Read:  Environmental activists protest Ghana's plan to mine bauxite

Calling for more time to address concerns from business and labour unions, Buhari, instead formed a panel to engage industries across the country on the impact of the deal on Nigeria.

Related: Africa Free trade deal set for take-off following Gambian ratification

“Our position is very simple, we support free trade”, Buhari said, “as long as it is fair and conducted on an equitable basis.”

Ahead of an AU summit of African leaders in Niger Republic next week, the AfCFTA will again be on the agenda with Nigeria widely expected by industries and labour unions in Nigeria to, at least, partially adopt the agreement. 

Your Friends Also Read:  Bleak prospects fire protest mood for young Algerians

The report “will form part of the consideration in our decision on the next steps on the AfCFTA”, said Buhari.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.



Leave a Reply

Previous Article
Ethiopian forces mass-arrest suspected Amhara coup plotters

Ethiopian forces mass-arrest suspected Amhara coup plotters

Next Article
Algeria's Riyad Mahrez beat Mane's Senegal in the 2019 AFCON

Mahrez and Algeria top Mane's Senegal in the heavyweight clash

Related Posts