HeadlinesMaritime Business Nigeria ratifies AfCFTA 16 months after presidential assent By maritimemag November 12, 2020 ShareTweet 0 – as treaty comes into force January 2021 Chinazor Megbolu | The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has announced the ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), 16 months after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the agreement. The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo made the announcement in a tweet after the FEC meeting on Wednesday, stating that the FEC has just approved the AFCFTA ratification. According to Adebayo; “AfCFTA creates a single continental market for goods and services, free movement of business persons and investments, expands intra-African trade and aims to enhance competitiveness for our industries and MSMEs”. He explained that December 5, 2020 is deadline for ratification as the AfCFTA agreement comes into effect on January 1, 2021. Adebayo added that implementation had initially been scheduled for July 1, 2020. Meanwhile, the AfCFTA Secretary-General, Mr. Wamkele Mene noted that it had to be postponed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that led total lockdown of the nation’s economy. He noted that AfCFTA is a trade agreement between African Union (AU) member States with the aim of creating a single market followed by free movement and a single-currency union. Mene noted that President Buhari signed it at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on AfCFTA and the first mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) that took place in Niamey, Niger Republic in July 2019. He pointed out that the free-trade zone would be the largest in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995 © 2020, maritimemag. All rights reserved.