The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Adetokunbo Kayode, has urged the Federal Government to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in order for Nigeria to maximise the economic benefits of the initiative.
Kayode said this in Abuja during a meeting with a delegation from the Federation of West African Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by its President, Germain Meba.
The Federal Executive Council had on March 14 last year approved that Nigeria should sign the framework agreement for the establishment of the initiative.
But few days to the signing of the agreement, President Muhammadu Buhari opted out of the African Union meeting where the pact would be signed by 55 African countries.
Following concerns raised by stakeholders on the implications of the pact on the economy, the President in October last year set up a committee to assess the extent to which Nigeria was ready to join AfCFTA as well as the likely effects of such move.
The report of the committee is still being expected
Already, 49 African countries had endorsed the agreement which would enable them to form a $3tn continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people.
Speaking on the development, Kayode said that contrary to claims that the pact would not benefit the Nigerian economy, it would provide the needed impetus to boost trade in the country
He called on the Federal Government to quickly sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to enable Nigeria to take advantage of its benefits.
He said, “I want to use the opportunity to urge the government to sign that (AFCTA) agreement immediately.
Meba, while responding, said that FEWACCI would do all it could to make trading within the region more formal.