The Federal Executive Council (FEC) ratified Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement(AFCFTA) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at the end of the weekly meeting of the Council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the minister, with the ratification, Nigeria has beaten the December 5 deadline set for all countries to ratify their membership of the African Free Trade Area.
He 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 Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
“You remember that on the July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU).
“The effective date ought to have been July 2020, but it was postponed to January 1, 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. All member states were given up to December 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 said that the Council approved N470 million for the procurement, installation, and commissioning of fully dimensional aerodrome and approach simulator at Lagos Airport.
“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.