Nigeria pulls out of African free trade summit

 Just days before the African Continental Free Trade Area Treaty is set to launch in Rwandan capital, Kigali, Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari has pulled the country out of the trade deal -which is much like that of the European Union.

The African Continental Free Trade Area Treaty would remove trade barriers and eventually allow free movement, creating a common market but
Nigerian labour unions have objected to the trade deal saying it would be bad for the economy and eventually lead to job losses.

The president's decision to pull out of the deal at the last minute is a setback for the pan-African trade treaty as Nigeria, alongside South Africa and Angola are the continent's largest economies.

It is thought that with elections just a year away, the government is looking to avoid clashing with the country's labour unions and business leaders who all oppose the African Continental Free Trade Area Treaty.

An economic analyst from the University of Abuja, Dr Nazifi Darma, told BBC Newsday that "free trade is an idea that is long overdue" but he fears that global companies could take advantage of the treaty: "You have to have an economic structure that is competitive enough to enable trade in a equal relationship, not on the basis of a subservient relationship."

If bigger, European companies will contract their production in Africa, and set up production facilities that will over-dominate the Nigerian market... Certainly it is against our national interests."

We must be able to look at every aspect of that agreement and make sure that it will wholeheartedly facilitate free trade between African countries."


BBC




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