Nigeria will sign a continental free-trade deal at a extraordinary summit of the African Union this weekend, bringing the duty-free movement of goods in the region a step closer.
The economy of Africa’s most-populous nation vies with South Africa to be the continent’s biggest and signing up clears a hurdle in the implementation of the African Continental Free-Trade Agreement. President Muhammadu Buhari last week received a report urging him to sign the deal from a committee that was set up to consider whether the country should join.
Nigeria will sign the deal at the summit in Niger “after extensive domestic consultations, and is focused on taking advantage of ongoing negotiations to secure the necessary safeguards against smuggling, dumping and other risks or threats,” the Presidency said on Twitter.
While the African Continental Free Trade Area came into force on paper in May, Nigeria is one of 29 countries yet to sign the agreement.