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Why Nigeria hasn’t signed AfCFTA, by Buhari’s aide

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Why Nigeria hasn’t signed AfCFTA, by Buhari’s aide

Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Economic Matters (Office of the Vice President), Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu yesterday explained why Nigeria had not signed the African Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), saying that the Federal Government was not ready to rush into signing what may eventually make it a dumping ground.
Dipeolu stated this in Ibadan at the 60th anniversary lecture of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan.
According to him, the decision not to sign the agreement was based on the Federal Government’s commitment to ensure that only what will benefit its economic interest and boost its comparative trade advantage would be implemented as policy.
Although Nigeria was one of the few countries yet to show commitment or sign the agreement despite participating in ten rounds of negotiations, Dipeolu added that the interest of the nation and its comparative trading advantage will guide its final decision on the African Free Trade Area agreement.
Declaring that Nigeria presented the best of team from her Office of Trade Negotiation, the Special Adviser said “the reluctance to join the African Free Trade Zone Area agreement is because Nigeria sees it as a no- brainer to our comparative trading advantage and the benefits of free trade which are quite evident to the country.”
Earlier, Coordinator, African Trade Policy Center (ATPC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Dr David Duke had said it was important for African countries to open up their economy and encourage intra-regional trade in order to boost their Gross Domestic Product and employment.
According to Duke, who spoke on the “Economic rationale of the African Continental Free Trade Area”, Nigeria will benefit from the intra-African trade as it would become a game changer in stimulating growth and boosting industrialization.
While noting that each country must have a strategy to benefit from the agreement, Dr. Duke noted that African countries needed to check external trading with the rest of the world by encouraging intra-African trading.

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