Nigeria ratifies membership of AfCFTA

Nigeria has ratified its membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The Federal Government took the decision on Wednesday at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, said that with the ratification, Nigeria had beaten the December 5, 2020 deadline for countries to ratify their membership.

“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,” he said.

The AfCFTA is aimed at creating a larger/ stronger continental market and to encourage free movement of goods and investments in the continent with a view to giving Africa greater opportunity in global trade.

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