1095 views | Peters Okwudili | July 30, 2019
Nigeria is setting up a committee and promising new laws to implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), launched by African leaders on July 7.
Africa’s recently agreed free trade zone if successful create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development.
Nigeria joined AfCFTA despite initial reluctance due to a desire to ensure it would not open local industries to dumping from countries outside the region, and its decision is an important endorsement as the largest economy on the continent.
The presidency said it would set up a committee made up of government agencies and private sector groups to implement the trade agreement.
In preparing Nigeria for the pact, President Muhammadu Buhari needs to approve a number of measures which would facilitate trade and boost local capacity to produce and export goods and services, among other policies, it said.
The African Development Bank president told Reuters on Saturday that African nations will need to boost output of goods and services and integrate payment systems if they are to take advantage of the initiative.
“Overall, the implementation of the AfCFTA is going to be a long journey,” it said. “Nigeria is committed to ensuring that Africa achieves a free and fair trade environment … through increased intra-African trade.”