The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has ratified Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
The ratification was done on Wednesday during the weekly Council meeting.
But it is yet to be seen how the country intend to incorporate the trade agreement when it is battling to deal with the ECOWAS free movement protocol.
Nigeria has shut its land borders against its neighbouring ECOWAS countries since late 2019.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who revealed this said with the ratification, Nigeria has beaten the Dec. 5 deadline set for all countries to ratify their membership of the African Free Trade Area.
He said: “The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment presented a memo on Wednesday asking the Federal Executive Council to ratify Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
“The effective date ought to have been July 2020, but it was postponed to Jan. 1, 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. All member states were given up to Dec. 5 to ratify the agreement.
“That is precisely what Nigeria did today. The Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of the country’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
It was ratified and as such, we beat the deadline of Dec. 5. Effectively, we hope that by Jan. 1, 2021, the agreement will come into force.’’