Nigeria says domestic consultation needed on Africa free trade agreement

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LAGOS, March 27 – Nigeria decided not join an Africa free trade zone last week because it needs to carry out more consultations at home first, the government said on Tuesday.
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Other leaders agreed to form a zone encompassing 1.2 billion people, but 11 countries including the continent’s biggest economy, Nigeria, and its most-developed, South Africa, did not sign up.

The omissions were a blow to African Union plans to cut back red tape and other barriers that have strangled trade between African states – which amounts for just 15 percent of total commerce on the continent.

“Minister of Foreign Affairs: The decision for President @MBuhari to not attend the #AfCFTA signing ceremony was taken because we realized more inclusive (domestic) consultations needed to take place before Nigeria signs,” read a message on the presidency’s Twitter feed.

It did not go into any details on the nature of the consultations.

South Africa did immediately comment on its reasons last week. Others staying on the sidelines were: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Burundi, Eritrea, Benin, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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