INTERNATIONAL – Nigeria is backing its commitment to join Africa’s recently agreed free trade zone by setting up a committee to implement the agreement, and promising new laws where necessary to enact membership of the pact, the presidency said on Sunday.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), launched by African leaders on July 7, will 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.