The African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, is a trade agreement that is intended to make African countries trade seamlessly with one another by removing all existing barriers.

Most African countries have signed up to the treaty, but Nigeria said it was taking its time to study to know exactly what it is signing.

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Presidential Committee for Impact and Readiness Assessment of the AfCFTA.

At the event at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari said Nigeria would not sign any treaty without assessing its impact on the lives of its citizens.

The president said Nigeria would henceforth take time to break away from the past practices, where treaties were signed without making the needed positive gains for the people.

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The Committee has the Minister of Industry as its Chairman, with the Chief of Staff to the President as Co-Chairman.

Other members of the committee include Ministers of Budget and National Planning, Foreign Affairs, Finance and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

The Economic Adviser to the President, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, President Nigerian association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and President, Nigeria Labour Congress among others, are also members of the committee.

Buhari said: “We are determined to break away from the past practice of committing Nigeria to treaties without a definite implementation plan to actualise the expected benefit while mitigating the risks.

“We cannot go back to the days of signing agreements without understanding and planning for the consequences of such actions and our country being the worst for it.

“Few months ago, I directed a nationwide stakeholders’ engagement on the Africa Free Trade Continental Area Agreement to understand the true impact of this agreement on Nigeria and Nigerians, considering the existing domestic and regional policies as it relates to trade.

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