By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on the Impact and Readiness Assessment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, agreement.
This was made known in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu.
By this, he will be signing the Phase one of the agreement in the course of his attendance at the Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union and 12th Extraordinary Summit on AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger Republic in a few days’ time.
A country that signs the first level will then go into country level discussions leading to treaties after safeguards are agreed to.
In accepting the reports as submitted, the President made it clear that Nigerian government will be seeking to include terms that engender the development of policies that promote African production, among other benefits.
In his words, “Africa, therefore, needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing agenda. Our vision for intra-African trade is for the free movement of “made in Africa goods”. That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition.
If we allow unbridled imports to continue, it will dominate our trade. The implication of this, is that coastal importing nations will prosper while landlocked nations will continue to suffer and depend on aid.”