AfCFTA, President Muhammadu Buhari;
President Muhammadu Buhari signing the Assembly of the Union on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while other officials witnessed the signing during the 12th Extra ordinary session and the First Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union at the Palais des Congres, Niamey, Niger Republic. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 07/07/2019

The federal government has been advised to urgently reverse its decision to take part in the proposed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) signed by 27 African Union member states in Kigali, Rwanda, describing it as an instrument of neo-colonialism.

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The agreement which was aimed at restricting trade barriers between the different pillars of the African Economic Community was on Sunday described by the Nigeria Awake Group (NIWAG), in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Mr. Banjo Aladesanmi, as a deliberate attempt to promoting imperialism and insecurity.

He said: “On our part as stakeholders of over 70,000 members across the country, we urged President Muhammdu Buhari, Minister for Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, and the Minster for Foreign Affairs, Godffery Onyeama, as well as leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN) to critically assess the economic and security implications of the agreement before the final implementation.

According to the group, “Our findings have revealed that the AfCFTA is another instrument introduced to by developed nations of the world to African continent in order to continue to dominate our economy conveniently. There is no comparative advantage(s) that we tend to benefit than subjecting our local investors to hardship and perpetual closure of business operation.

“At the moment, some developed nations are already constructing large plants and warehouses across neighbouring countries, where they planned to be dumping products and moving them across African nations including Nigeria. We want to categorically state that AfCFTA is signed African countries but to be much benefited by developed nations.

“This will cause serious setback for our industrialists because Nigerian markets would have been flooded with goods both legal and illegal items produced sponsored by developed nations and channeled through any Africa member states for sale. If other African countries are bringing goods to Nigeria considering our large population, where do we take our goods to, considering their small sizes and population?”

NIWAG added that, “Apart from the economic disadvantages on Nigerian economy, AfCFTA will also promote insecurity because member nations shall have the immunity of free movement of persons and goods across Nigerians border thereby aiding and abetting insurgency.

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“By the time they succeeded in disrupting the relative peace we are enjoying through the smuggling of arms and ammunition with other goods into the nation resulting into massive death and destabilization of our socio-economic activities, they shall offer to support us financially and take over our political sphere.”

Vanguard

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