Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, says the Federal Executive Council’s approval of ratification of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement demonstrates, globally, Nigeria’s economic leadership position on the continent.
FEC on Wednesday approved the ratification of the AfCFTA agreement which Nigeria signed on July 7, 2019, in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU).
This approval comes less than two months before the effective start date of the AfCFTA implementation scheduled to begin on Jan. 1, 2021.
Adebayo, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media on Abuja, Ifedayo Sayo, said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice would prepare the instrument of ratification.
He said the instrument of ratification would be prepared for President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent for onward transmission to the African Union, the legal depository of all instruments of ratification.
“With the approval of the agreement, Nigeria joins other African nations who have already ratified the agreement to become a State Party to the agreement.
“With this ratification, Nigeria is on course to participate in trading under the AfCFTA region.
‘This is a huge step forward for the nation, and further demonstrates to the world, Nigeria’s economic leadership position on the African continent,” he said.
AfCFTA which seeks to create a single market for goods and services and free movement of persons within Africa is expected to be the largest market in the world with the population of about 1.2 billion people.
The effective date for AfCFTA was initially July 2020, but it was postponed to Jan. 1, 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All member states were given up to Dec. 5, to ratify the agreement. (NAN)