Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement. The former President, however, expressed hope that the President will change his mind before it is too late.
Obasanjo spoke his mind 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.
The former Head of State was joined by the President of Zimbabwe, Emerson Mnangagwa.
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 one of the flagship projects of the African Union Agenda 2063.
It is targeted at creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons, investments and a single currency.
Also, the agreement commits countries to removing tariffs on 90 per cent of goods and to liberalise services.
Also items identified as sensitive, which make up the balance 10 per cent, will also be phased out later as tariff-free.