Nigeria Ratifies AfCFTA Membership

No Plans To Impose Fresh Lockdown

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday, announced that the Federal Government has ratified Nigeria’s membership in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA ).

The decision was reached at the weekly Federal Executive Council presided over by President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The AfCFTA is the creation of 54 of the 55 African Union (AU) member states.

The AfCFTA aims to establish a common continental market for goods and services, with restricted flow of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs Union.

Nigeria’s ratification comes one month before the expiration of the December 5, 2020 deadline given to member states of the AU to determine their status of the trade agreement.

Lai stated that, “The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment presented a memo today (Wednesday) asking the Federal Executive Council to ratify Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“You remember that on July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCTA 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 as a result of the pandemic, it was postponed to January 1, 2021 and all member states were given up to December 5 to ratify the agreement.

“That is precisely what Nigeria did today. The Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of the membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area. It was ratified and as such, we beat the deadline of December 5. Effectively, we hope that by January 1, 2021, the agreement will come into force.”

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Victor Okeh is a graduate of Economics from Lagos State University. He is versatile in reporting business and economy, politics and finance, and entrepreneurship articles. He can be reached via – [email protected]

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