The Federal Executive Council (FEC) ratified Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known at the end of the weekly meeting of the Council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the Minister, with the ratification, Nigeria has beaten the Dec. 5 deadline set for all countries to ratify their membership of the African Free Trade Area.
He said: “The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment presented a memo on Wednesday asking the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to ratify Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
“You remember that on the July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.
“The effective date ought to have been July 2020, but it was postponed to Jan. 1, 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. All member states were given up to Dec. 5 to ratify the agreement.
“That is precisely what Nigeria did today. The Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of the country’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
“It was ratified and as such, we beat the deadline of Dec. 5. Effectively, we hope that by Jan. 1, 2021, the agreement will come into force.’’(NAN)