Nigeria to sign ACFTA agreement in Rwanda

ACFTA, Enelamah, FEC, FG, news, News Update

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the framework agreement for establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

The ACFTA is meant to promote commerce among African countries.

But the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had opposed the signing of such agreement by the Federal Government.

The NLC has accused the federal government of not consulting widely on the issue, saying it is detrimental to Nigeria’s economic interests.

President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, had said “we at the Nigeria Labour Congress are shocked by the sheer impunity or blatant lack of consultation in the process that has led to this. We are more worried by the probable outcome of this policy initiative if it is given life because of its crippling effect on the local businesses and attendant effects on jobs.

“We have no doubt this policy initiative will spell the death knell of the Nigerian economy. Accordingly, we urge Mr. President not to sign this agreement either in Kigali or anywhere. We believe our national interest is at stake and nothing should be done to compromise this.”

President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to append his signature to the deal on behalf of Nigeria next week during Extraordinary meeting of African Union leaders’ summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

But FEC said the benefits of ACFTA for Nigeria outweigh the concerns raised by critics.

The Minister of Trade and Investments, Okechukwu Enelamah, who briefed State House Correspondents at the end of the close to five hours meeting, said that Nigeria is even bidding to host the Headquarters/Secretariat of the ACFTA.

Enelamah said his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, had been mandated to widen consultations with stakeholders, including National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).


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