Buhari Makes U-Turn, Says Nigeria Will Sign Up To Free-Trade Agreement
So, Nigeria will be signing up to the African free trade agreement after all.
Recall that Nigeria, along with South Africa had hesitated to sign up to the treaty in March which is aimed at opening up the African market.
The government had said it refused to sign up to the treaty in order to protect local businesses.
But after pressures from economic players, President Buhari’s government then said it wanted more time to consult business leaders.
“In trying to guarantee employment, goods and services in our country, we have to be careful with agreements that will compete, maybe successfully, against our upcoming industries,” Buhari told a news conference during a visit by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.
“I am a slow reader, maybe because I was an ex-soldier. I didn’t read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature. I kept it on my table. I will soon sign it,” Buhari said.
Earlier Ramaphosa told a business conference in Abuja that South Africa saw huge benefits from the continental free trade deal and that a draft agreement relating to the movement of people is being reviewed.
In his first visit to Nigeria since becoming South Africa’s president in February, Ramaphosa said he is seeking greater collaboration between Nigeria and South Africa.
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