African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) Agreement – Is a deal expected to improve the economic prosperity by removing barriers to trade, like tariffs and import quotas, allowing the free flow of goods and services between its members.
Teo weeks ago 49 at of the 55 members of the African Union signed the deal but Nigeria did not sign.
But last week Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari said that Nigeria will “soon” sign up for the agreement. He had initially refused to sign, citing that Nigeria wished to defend its own businesses and industry.
n a news conference during a visit by South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, President Buhari expressed his position saying that he didn’t sign because he is a slow reader and he wanted to consult business leaders:
“In trying to guarantee employment, goods and services in our country, we have to be careful with agreements that will compete, maybe successfully, against our upcoming industries.
I am a slow reader, maybe because I was an ex-soldier. I didn’t read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature. I kept it on my table. I will soon sign it.”
The continental free trade agreement, which encompasses 1.2 billion people, was initially joined by 44 countries in March. South Africa signed up earlier this month. Six countries, including Nigeria, are yet to sign the agreement.
That’s right. Nigerians are potentially missing out on jobs, economic prosperity and a 1.2 billion strong market because our president is a slow reader.