Bloomberg | 22 May 2019
Nigeria to join Africa free trade zone, Trade Minister says
by Ruth Olurounbi
(Bloomberg) — Nigeria will sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari approves an impact-assessment report he asked for, the country’s trade minister said.
Nigeria is one of 29 countries yet to sign the agreement seeking to boost intra-African trade, stimulate investment and innovation. The trade deal comes into effect May 30 after 22 African countries ratified it.
“I think the president has a sense of urgency about this because when he asked us to conduct an impact assessment study, we were given just three months to finish everything and we have done so,” Okechukwu Enelamah, Nigeria’s minister of industry, trade and investment, said in an interview in Abuja, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
“We do need to conclude our processes and make sure that the train doesn’t leave the station and go far before we join.”
Nigeria has adopted a proactive approach to its trade policy, which has been recently reviewed for the first time in many years, Enalamah said.