Finally Nigeria to Sign African Continental Free Trade Agreement

After months of deliberations and negotiations, Nigeria is finally set to join the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). This historic move by Nigeria will make it the 54th African nation to join the pact, which is designed to create a single market with a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.

The AfCFTA was first proposed by the African Union (AU) in 2012 and was signed by 44 African nations in March 2018. The agreement aims to boost intra-African trade by creating a single market for goods and services, free movement of people, and a unified currency. It is estimated that the agreement could increase intra-African trade by 52.3% by 2022.

Nigeria, as Africa`s largest economy, was initially hesitant to join the pact over concerns that it could harm local industries and businesses. President Muhammadu Buhari`s administration had raised issues such as fears that Nigeria could become a dumping ground for foreign goods and concerns about the impact of the agreement on small and medium-sized businesses.

However, after extensive consultations and negotiations, the government has finally agreed to sign the agreement. In a statement released by the presidency, President Buhari noted that Nigeria`s decision to join the pact was „a significant step on the road to Africa`s economic transformation.”

The decision to sign the agreement has been met with widespread support from business groups and economists who see it as a positive step towards boosting trade and investment in the continent. The AfCFTA is expected to create new opportunities for Nigerian businesses, particularly in manufacturing, agriculture, and service sectors.

This development is not only significant for Nigeria but also for the rest of the continent. The AfCFTA is expected to facilitate the growth of African businesses, which have long struggled with high tariffs, poor infrastructure, and complex regulations. It will also help to diversify African economies, which are currently heavily dependent on commodity exports.

In conclusion, the decision by Nigeria to join the AfCFTA is a significant milestone that will have far-reaching implications for both Nigeria and the continent as a whole. The agreement provides a framework for increased trade and investment, which could help to boost economic growth and job creation. As the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria`s decision to sign the agreement is a critical step towards realizing the full potential of the AfCFTA.