Nigeria, yesterday Wednesday, November 11, ratified its membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The ratification comes less than a month before the deadline for the process to be concluded.
The decision was taken during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held on Wednesday. Subsequently, the development was confirmed by the Federal Government via its verified handle on the microblogging site, Twitter.
“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) today Ratified Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ahead of the December 5, 2020 deadline. The AfCFTA Agreement comes into effect on the 1st of January 2021.
‘‘With today’s FEC approval, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice will now prepare the AfCFTA Instrument of Ratification for assent by President @MBuhari and onward transmission to @_AfricanUnion,’’ the tweets by @NigeriaGov read.
Oriental News Nigeria reports that by this development, Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, becomes the latest country to ratify its membership of AfCFTA; a continental free trade agreement. A total of 30 African Union member states have so far ratified their membership.
Going by the number of participating countries; the AfCFTA is believed to be the largest trade agreement since the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to the African Union (AU), the AfCFTA will offer Africa an opportunity to reconfigure its supply chains; reduce reliance on others and speed up the establishment of regional value chains which will boost intra-Africa trade.
Furthermore, its implementation will form a $3.4 trillion economic bloc with 1.3 billion people across the continent. This is expected to potentially double intra-Africa trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization.
The first commercial deal under the AfCFTA is expected to take place on January 1, 2021 after the COVID-19-enforced delay in implementation