April 16, 2018

Free Trade Agreement: Industrial Council backs Buhari on consultations

Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to suspend Nigeria’s participation in signing African Continental Free Trade Agreement has been applauded by Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council.

Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

President Buhari had in March cancelled a trip to Kigali, Rwanda, where an extra-ordinary summit of African Union was scheduled to sign the agreement.

The President explained that the cancellation was to allow for more consultations with stakeholders in Nigeria over the trade agreement.

But the Industrial Council at its meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, weekend, in Abuja, received a status report on the Continental Trade Agreement and supported the need for more consultations before Nigeria ratifies the agreement.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, told State House correspondents after the meeting that “council reinforced the importance of consultation, which was what the President said.”

He said:   “The meeting agreed with the President and concurred that more consultation is the way to go because the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement will have implications for us, which we hope will be positive.”