” President Muhammadu Buhari appended his signature to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on Sunday July 7, 2019 at exactly 10: 47 a.m. in the presence of African Heads of State and Government, delegates and representatives from the private sector, civil society and the media during the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Niamey, Niger Republic.”
With Nigeria and Benin Republic signing the Agreement at the Summit, 54 out of 55 African countries have signed the world’s largest free trade area deal, encompassing 55 countries and 1.2 billion people.
Eritrea is the only African country yet to sign the agreement.
Buhari had after signing the agreement declared that Nigeria’s commitment to trade and African integration “have never been in doubt nor was it ever under threat”
“Nigeria wishes to emphasize that free trade must also be fair trade,” the President was quoted as saying by the presidential aide, Femi Adesina.
‘‘As African leaders, our attention should now focus on implementing the AfCFTA in a way that develops our economies and creates jobs for our young, dynamic and hardworking population. ‘
‘I wish to assure you, that Nigeria shall sustain its strong leadership role in Africa, in the implementation of the AfCFTA. We shall also continue to engage, constructively with all African countries to build the Africa that we want,’’ President Buhari said.
In picture : Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari signs the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey, Niger, on July 7, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY | NIGERIA PRESIDENCY