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Nigeria pushes to adopt CFTA deal to facilitate regional trade

The federal government has begun moves to adopt trade relations with the emerging establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in Africa.

Nigeria has been lagging behind among other trade blocs.

Before reaching plans to establish CFTA this year, three Regional Economic Communities (RECs)—the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC)—had reached an agreement in 2015 to expedite the process towards the operationalization of the trading group.

The AU had set a deadline of December 2017 for the adoption of the CFTA.

Analysts say once concluded, the CFTA will enhance the movement of goods and services and boost trade facilitation within the 54-member bloc of the continent.

Already, three regions had made a bold move to realise the African Union (AU) 2017 target ahead of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region, which is still bedevilled by other trade issues.

A statement released by the by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, noted that the Nigerian Negotiating team departed for Kigali, Rwanda, on Monday for another round of text-based negotiations in the Technical Working Groups (TWG) of the Negotiating Forum for the CFTA.

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