Nigeria to sign AfCFTA
Nigerian Government on Tuesday agreed to signing the African Continental Free
Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) at the upcoming Extraordinary Summit of the African
Union in the Nigerien capital city, Niamey.
extraordinary summit is expected to hold on July 7, according to information
African Union’s website.
most populous abstained from signing the agreement initially, saying it
was weighing the
effects it will have on its economy.
is signing the #AfCFTA Agreement after extensive domestic consultations,” the
government said in a statement.
Union’s commissioner for trade and industry Albert Muchanga said Nigeria ratifying
the agreement is a “good and important development.”
came into effect in March with 52 out of 55 countries backing the policy.
Brookings Institution described Nigeria’s decision to not ratify the agreement
at the time as “baffling”.
countries – Eritrea and Nigeria’s neighbour the Republic of Benin – are yet to
sign the agreement.
continent’s biggest market and bedevilled by porous and poorly manned borders,
Nigeria is wary it may become a dumping
ground for all sorts of goods, especially those not made in
it is “focused on taking advantage of ongoing negotiations to secure the
necessary safeguards against smuggling, dumping and other risks/threats.”
government acquiesced to sign the agreement after a panel set up by President
Muhammadu Buhari in March gave AfCFTA a positive nod.
reports show that, on balance, Nigeria should consider joining the
AfCFTA”, the panel’s chair, Desmond Guobadia, said in a statement to the
the report of the panel warned that the agreement is fraught with “major
risks,” including smuggling and deliberate labeling of products made outside the continent as made in Africa.
is that it will provide incentive for traders to disguise goods imported from
outside the continent as made-in-Africa goods”, the report warned.
Buhari told the panel, after receiving its report, that African countries must
scale up their manufacturing capacity for the continent-wide trade policy to
succeed, noting that his government’s vision of intra-African trade is for the
free movement of made in Africa goods.
AfCFTA to succeed, we must develop policies that promote African production,
among other benefits,” Buhari said in Abuja last Thursday.
therefore, needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing