Nigeria Signs Free Trade Agreement: What It Means for the Country
On July 7, 2019, Nigeria joined the rest of African countries to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in Niamey, Niger. This historic agreement promises to create a more prosperous and integrated Africa by removing existing trade barriers that have impeded intra-African trade.
The AfCFTA agreement brings together 54 out of 55 African countries, with Eritrea as the only country that is yet to sign the agreement. The agreement seeks to create a single market for goods and services, facilitate free movement of persons, promote industrialization, and foster economic development across the continent.
For Nigeria, signing the AfCFTA agreement is a significant milestone that demonstrates the government`s commitment to driving economic growth and promoting trade within the African continent. Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and has a lot to gain from the free trade agreement.
Firstly, the AfCFTA agreement provides Nigerian businesses with access to a larger market of over 1.3 billion people, thereby increasing their potential for growth and expansion. This is a positive development for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, which have struggled to penetrate the global market due to trade barriers and high tariffs.
Secondly, the AfCFTA agreement promotes the development of the manufacturing industry in Nigeria, creating jobs and boosting the country`s economic growth. By removing trade barriers and facilitating the free movement of goods and people, the agreement encourages investment in the manufacturing sector, as companies can leverage the lower production costs and access to the larger market provided by the agreement.
Thirdly, the free trade agreement fosters economic integration across the African continent, promoting regional cooperation and ultimately leading to a more prosperous Africa. The agreement provides a framework for African countries to work together, build partnerships, and pool resources to develop infrastructure, boost the digital economy, and enhance the continent`s competitiveness.
In conclusion, signing the AfCFTA agreement is a step in the right direction for Nigeria, Africa`s largest economy, and the continent as a whole. The agreement promises to create a more integrated African market, provide opportunities for Nigerian businesses, and foster economic development across the continent. However, it is important for the Nigerian government to prioritize the implementation of the agreement, as this will determine its success and impact on the country`s economy.