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Federal Government ratifies Nigeria’s AfCFTA membership

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has ratified Nigeria’s membership of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This is coming as the implementation of the agreement formally takes-off on January 1, 2021.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this while briefing State House reporters on behalf of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, after Wednesday’s virtual meeting of the council.

He said FEC ratified Nigeria’s membership of AfCFTA in compliance with the instruction directing parties to the agreement to ratify their memberships latest December 5, this year.

He recalled that Nigeria signed the agreement on July 7, 2019, in Niamey, Niger Republic, adding that with the ratification of its membership, Nigeria had beaten the ratification deadline.

Whereas the implementation of the agreement was initially scheduled to commence in July, this year, the plan was stalled by the spread of COVID-19.

Mohammed said: “The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment presented a memo today (yesterday) asking the Federal Executive Council to ratify Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

“You remember that on the 7th of July, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU). The effective date ought to have been July 2020, but as a result of the pandemic, it was postponed to January 1st 2021, and all member-states were given up to the 5th of December to ratify the agreement.

“That is precisely what Nigeria did today. The Federal Executive Council approved ratification of the membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement. It was ratified and as such, we beat the deadline of the 5th of December.

“Effectively, we hope that by 1st of January 2021, the agreement will come into force.”

The government’s spokesman also said FEC approved a memorandum presented by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, for the approval of N470,263,037 for the procurement, installation, and commissioning of a fully dimensional aerodrome and approach simulator at Lagos Airport.

He said the contract will be executed by Messrs Intelligent Transportation System Limited which he described as an authorised representative of the original manufacturer, Messrs Teofex System of France.

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