Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari signed the agreement for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Sunday, fulfilling a promise he made earlier in the week. The panel set up by Buhari, however,noted that some negative impacts included massive smuggling that could turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for goods produced outside of Africa. He, therefore, called for fair trade.
“Nigeria will sign the AfCFTA Agreement at the upcoming Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Niamey, Niger,” the presidency tweeted late Tuesday.
African leaders hope that AfCFTA will create the world’s largest free trade area, and the deal was given a boost when Nigeria and Benin presidents signed up.
True to his word, the President signed the agreement on Sunday at the opening of the 12th Extra-Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Benin’s President Patrice Talon also signed the agreement, with both him and President Buhari receiving rapturous applause at the summit, AFP reported.
Fifty-four of the 55 African Union member countries signed onto the deal, with only Eritrea holding out.