Obasanjo:Nigeria,S'Africa'sParticipa­tion Needed for AfCTA's Success

- Ndubuisi Francis

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that

the participat­ion of Nigeria and South Africa in the African Continenta­l Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement would contribute to its success.

Obasanjo, who spoke weekend in Cairo, Egypt at a conference to announce arrangemen­ts for the inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2018) slated for the Egyptian capital between December 11 and 17, 2018, noted that Nigeria and South Africa's participat­ion in the AfCFTA, would contribute to the success of the agreement.

The former president, who is the Chairman of the IATF2018 Advisory Council, however, regretted that “the train has left the station”, adding that those countries that were yet to sign the agreement would have to catch up.

Obasanjo's comment was an obvious reference to the two African economic giants, Nigeria and South Africa, which failed to sign the AfCTA agreement in March.

Nigeria had explained that it did not sign because it was consulting to ensure that endorsing AfCTA would not expose the country to a dumping ground.

On its part, South Africa said it will become a signatory to the agreement once the legality of the agreement has been processed and ratified by the South African parliament, cabinet and the National Economic Developmen­t and Labour Council (NEDLAC)

The former Nigerian leader, noted that the the participat­ion of Nigeria and South Africa would lead to its success.

The agreement to create AfCFTA was signed at an extraordin­ary summit in Kigali, Rwanda by representa­tives of 44 of the 55 African Union (AU) member states and expected to come into force within six months.

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