President Muhammadu Buhari is set to leave Abuja on Saturday for Niamey, Niger Republic to attend the African Union Summit, slated to hold on Sunday, 7th July.
The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said the president would participate in the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
Nigeria is one of the 29 African countries yet to sign the AfCFTA agreement, Adesina revealed that Buhari would sign the AfCFTA Agreement on the margins of the AU meeting in Niamey.
Before arriving at the decision to sign the agreement, the Buhari led administration had embarked on extensive consultations with stakeholders and had set up a Presidential Committee to Assess Impact and Readiness of Nigeria to join the AfCFTA.
In its report, the committee had recommended that Nigeria should sign the Agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade.
While formally accepting the report on June 27, President Buhari said, “For AfCFTA to succeed, we must develop policies that promote African production, among other benefits.
“Africa, therefore, needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing agenda.
“Our vision for intra-African trade is for the free movement of ‘made in Africa goods.’ That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition.”
The Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union is expected to launch the operational instruments of the Agreement establishing AfCFTA.
According to Adesina, “The instruments include: AfCFTA Rules of Origin, Tariff Concession Portals, Portal on Monitoring and Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers, Digital Payments and Clearing Systems and African Trade and Observatory Dashboard,’’
Recall that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an agreement signed by 52 of 55 members of the African Union.
The proposal was set to come in force 30 days after, ratification by 22 signatory states; the agreement went into force on May 30th, 30 days after the Saharawi Republic the 22nd deposit of instrument of ratification.
AfCFTA is aimed creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of businesspersons and investments, and thus pave way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs Union
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