Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed his disappointment over failure of President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
Obasanjo who spoke on the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, during a presidential panel, titled: ‘When Leaders Make History’ at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on Tuesday however said he hoped the Nigerian president will retrace his step soon on the agreement.
Obasanjo said, “That President Buhari didn’t sign the free trade agreement in Kigali is disappointing; I hope he signs it before it is too late.
“Egypt started the discussion on the formation of the Organisation of African Unity but didn’t conclude it and Nigeria took over.
“Nigeria was also central to the discussion of the free trade agreement, but I am surprised that the country withdrew from signing.”
The AfCFTA treaty is targeted at creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons, investments and a single currency in Africa.
The agreement commits countries to removing tariffs on 90 per cent of goods and to liberalise services.
But some labour unions and stakeholders had opposed Nigeria’s signing of the agreement over claims that opening Nigeria’s market to influx of goods from the continent will result in loss of jobs and closure of industries.