FEC ratifies  Nigeria’s membership of Africa Free Trade Zone

FEC ratifies Nigeria’s membership of Africa Free Trade Zone

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday ratified Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said with the ratification, Nigeria has beaten the December 5 deadline set for all countries to ratify their membership of the AfCFTA.

The minister 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 Agreement (AfCFTA).

“You remember that on July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.

“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 December 5. Effectively, we hope that by January 1, 2021, the agreement will come into force.’’

Mohammed also disclosed that the council approved N470 million for the procurement, installation, and commissioning of fully dimensional aerodrome and approach simulator at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

“The Minister of Aviation presented a memo in which he sought the approval of a contract for the procurement, installation, and commissioning of fully dimensional aerodrome and approach simulator at the Lagos airport for the sum of N470,263,037 with a completion period of six months.

“The contract became necessary in view of the increase in the number of personnel who have been recruited and trained as air traffic controllers.

“It is important to us to ensure safety in all the 32 aerodromes of the country. That memo was also approved today,’’ he added.

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