The Nigerian Presidency on Tuesday said the country would sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement at the upcoming Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Niamey, the Nigerien capital.
The 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is billed for July 7, 2019 in Niamey.
In a series of tweets via its official handle @NGRPresident Tuesday night, the Presidency said, “Nigeria will sign the #AfCFTA Agreement at the upcoming Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Niamey, Niger.”
It said Nigeria was signing the AfCFTA agreement “after extensive domestic consultations, and is focused on taking advantage of ongoing negotiations to secure the necessary safeguards against smuggling, dumping and other risks/threats”.
The tweets quoted President Muhammadu Buhari as saying that Nigeria supports “free trade as long as it is fair and conducted on an equitable basis”.
Also confirming Nigeria’s plan to sign the AfCFTA agreement, Albert Muchanga, commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, tweeted via his official handle @AmbMuchanga, “Officially confirmed! #Nigeria to sign the #AfCFTA Agreement during Niger Extra-Ordinary Summit in few days.”
Muchanga described the plan as “good and important development”, adding, “Two more to go and an all Africa market will start shaping up.”
The Presidential Committee on the Impact and Readiness Assessment of the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA submitted its report to President Buhari on June 27.
Receiving the report, the President had said that for the AfCFTA to succeed, Africa “must develop policies that promote African production, among other benefits” and, therefore, “needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing agenda”.