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Nigeria not in hurry to sign African free trade agreement – Buhari govt

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The Federal Government Wednesday, said it was not in a hurry to sign the controversial African Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).

The FG cited its implication on the nation’s economy as the major reason for the delay.

Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, disclosed this in Ibadan at the 60th anniversary lecture of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan.

“Nigeria’s reluctance in signing the African Free Trade Agreement is based on the commitment to ensure that only what will benefit its economic interest is implemented as a policy,’’ Dipeolu said.


Dipeolu, who was the chairman of the occasion, however, said there was the need for the country to diversify its economy into export and increase its revenue base.

“We have to look at the current theory to influence our trade policy while our policy on transshipment must be addressed, ” he said.

He, therefore, challenged educational institutions to take the lead in championing economic analysis on policy issues.

Also speaking, the Coordinator, African Trade Policy Center (ATPC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Dr David Duke, said African countries must have a strategy to benefit from the agreement.

Duke who is the guest lecturer spoke on the topic: Economic Rationale of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Duke noted that Nigeria would benefit from intra-African trade as it would become a game changer in stimulating growth and boosting industrialisation.

“The agreement may well offer better opportunities for African economies to industrialise than African relations with external partners.

“The average tariff when we export our goods is eight per cent compared to the two per cent export and we are looking towards bringing the eight per cent back to us,” he said.

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