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Reps to summon Malami, Onyeama over AFCFTA




The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to summon the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, is also expected to appear before the lawmakers on the matter.

The trio are expected to brief the House on the implications of establishing the AFCFTA.

However, no date has been fixed for the meeting.

The House decision followed the adoption of a motion presented by Hon. Ben Igbakpa at the plenary.

Igbakpa recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 7, 2019, signed the agreement establishing AFCFTA at the Africa Union summit in Niger.

READ ALSO: AfCFTA is not a threat to manufacturers, Buhari says

He added that 44 member countries of the AU had on March 19 last year endorsed the agreement during the 18th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Governments in Kigali, Rwanda.

According to him, AFCFTA is meant to establish a common protocol to allow free movement of goods and services among member-nations of the AU.

The lawmaker said with a porous border system and a mono-economy without substantial production, there were fears that the agreement would open the country’s ports and businesses to unbridled foreign interference and domination.

He added that necessary safeguards such as the development of the nation’s infrastructure, protection of borders, setting-up of monitoring teams, and developing the capacity of local manufacturers should be put in place before the implementation of AFCFTA.

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