Journalism of Courage

We will only sign treaties that will impact lives of Nigerians – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that Nigeria will not sign any treaty without assessing the impact it will make on the lives of Nigerians.

“We are determined to breakaway form the past practice of committing Nigeria to treaties without a definite implementation plan to actualise the expected benefit while mitigating the risks. We cannot go back to the days of signing agreements without understanding and planning for the consequences of such actions and our country being the worst for it.

He made the remark on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while inaugurating the nation’s Committee for Impact and Readiness Assessment of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“Few months ago I directed a nationwide stakeholders’ engagement on the Africa Free Trade Continental Area Agreement to understand the true impact of this agreement on Nigeria and Nigerians, considering the existing domestic and regional policies as it relates to trade.

“From the consultation, the key issues raised by stakeholders were abuse of rules of origin, smuggling arising from difficulties in border controls, unqualified impact of legacy preferential trade agreements, low capacity and capability of local businesses to conduct international trade, costly finance, insufficient energy and transport logistics infrastructure but our Economic recovery and Growth Plan is addressing these issues,” he said.

The President charged the committee to concentrate on the issues raised during the nationwide consultations in order to find lasting solutions to them.

Buhari said: “Your task as members of the Impact and Readiness Assessment of the African Continental Free Trade Area Committee is to address the issues raised during the stakeholders’ consultations on the Africa Continental free trade Agreement. You are expected to develope short, medium and long term measures that will address any challenges arising there from.”

He further stated that Nigeria’s vision for intra-African trade is for a free movement of made in Africa goods.

Noting that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, Buhari regretted that for too long, the country’s domestic productive capabilities were neglected in favour of imports.

He noted that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan introduced by the current administration will help revive key job creating and import substitution sectors like agriculture, mining and manufacturing.


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