African Union looking to convince Nigeria on free trade agreement
THE AFRICAN UNION (AU) is looking to convince Nigeria to overturn its decision to delay the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).
Moussa Faki, the chairman of AU, with a delegation of the union is currently in Nigeria to visit and convince all the relevant authorities, including the president Muhammadu Buhari, to see reasons why the free trade agreement is the next step in the African economic revolution.
Nigeria refused to sign the agreement in July on the premise that it would expose industries and small businesses to external pressures and competitions, which could lead to closures and job losses.
“One of the reasons for the visit is to discuss with the president on the African free trade that is yet to be signed. We have to realise that Nigeria is one of the important countries in Africa and Nigeria is committed to the development of the continent,” Faki said.
While stating the need for Nigeria to be part of the countries pushing the AfCTA agenda for the benefit of the whole continent, he also expressed excitement with the relentless battle against corruption in Nigeria and Africa in spite of all the odds.
The AU Chairperson came for a two-day official visit to Nigeria from Oct. 25th to Oct. 26th.
Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, in his remarks, said that the visit of the chairperson was significant because Africa is central in the Nigeria foreign policy adding that AU is extremely important to Nigeria.
He said that the chairperson had good ideas of achieving various goals of AU, adding that, Nigeria would support him to achieve the goals.
Onyeama said, “there is a road map and he has a vision for Africa and its development. There is 2063 agenda which is a roadmap that we hope will lead to peace and security on the continent. The roadmap is to silence the gun, by 2020,” he said.
According to the minister, there is also the Sustainable Development Goals agenda and that of economic development on continent.
“There is a reform process that AU is involved to meet its challenges and that is a very important process for all the members to be engaged in. We are supporting him, he has a very clear vision, and clear idea of how to achieve these goals and Nigeria is a very integral part of that process.”