A statement issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja today, said the president would
1. participate in the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
2, participate in the First Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities in Niamey.
According to Femi Adesina, “The Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union is expected to launch the operational instruments of the Agreement establishing AfCFTA.
“The instruments include: AfCFTA Rules of Origin, Tariff Concession Portals, Portal on Monitoring and Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers, Digital Payments and Clearing Systems and African Trade and Observatory Dashboard,’’
Recall that the Buhari administration had embarked on extensive consultations with stakeholders, which led to the submission of a report on their assessment of the Impact and Readiness of Nigeria to join the AfCFTA.
The Report had recommended that Nigeria should sign the Agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade.
Adesina revealed that Buhari would sign the AfCFTA Agreement on the margins of the AU meeting in Niamey.
While formally accepting the report on June 27, President Buhari said, “For AfCFTA to succeed, we must develop policies that promote African production, among other benefits.
“Africa, therefore, needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing agenda.
“Our vision for intra-African trade is for the free movement of ‘made in Africa goods.’ That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition.”
Adesina disclosed that President Buhari will be accompanied to Niamey by the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, Governors Babagana Zulum, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Aminu Bello Masari of Borno, Kebbi and Katsina States, respectively.
Other top government officials on the trip include Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Mustapha Suleiman; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Sunday Akpan and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Nuratu Batagarawa.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and Director-General, National Office for Trade Negotiations, Amb. Chinedu Osakwe are also slated to accompany the President.
According to Adesina the President would return to Abuja at the conclusion of the Summit.