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‘AFCFTA to create continental Customs union’

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Public Sector Matters and Secretary of the National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Agreement…

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Public Sector Matters and Secretary of the National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Francis Anatogu, has said there are plans to establish a continental Customs union.

Anatogu who was speaking on the sidelines of the leadership stakeholders consultation on ‘Defining the Trade in Service Strategy for the AfCFTA’ in Abuja, stated that if effectively implemented, AfCFTA would result in the elimination of tariffs on 90 per cent of tariff lines and assist in the harmonization of policies, regulations and standards, as well as lead to customs co-operation and mutual administrative assistance.

A Professor of International Economic Relations at Covenant University, Prof. John Aremu said while it is right for Nigeria to ratify the agreement, the constitution provides that such treaties can only become beneficial to the nation if it has a place inside Nigerian law to guarantee enforceability.

“If AfCFTA cannot be domesticated into the national law, it cannot be deployed in defence of cases involving their violations before courts of law in the country, nor can they be used for the advocacy of rights within the country.”

Aremu further noted that failure or lateness for Nigeria to domesticate the agreement would cause unreasonable hardship on other AU member states that intend to have a commercial relationship with Nigeria.

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