The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has berated Nigeria and South Africa over the delay in signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the inaugural lecture and launching of the Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria (AFRPN).
“It is surprising that the two biggest economies in Africa withdrew from signing such economic agreement.
“I could not believe that we signed World Trade Agreement, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other economic pacts and cannot signed AfCFTA.
“We have trade relations with America and with China and we cannot have trade within Africa, not having the two giant economies in Africa in it is serious,” he said.
On March 14, the Federal Executive Council gave approval that Nigeria should sign the agreement for the establishment of the AfCFTA’s framework.
But, President Muhammadu Buhari pulled out of the African Union meeting where the pact was to be signed by 55 African countries.
However, only 44 countries have signed the AfCFTA to date, and just 30 nations have signed the Free Movement Protocol — signifying the free movement of people, right of residence and right of establishment.
Should all the 55 African countries join the AfCFTA, the continent would be one of the world’s largest free-trade areas in terms of the number of countries, covering more than 1.2 billion people and over $4 trillion in combined consumer and business spending.
The former CBN boss also urged Nigeria and Africa to push for a review of the current World Economic Order to address the issue of migration on the continent.
He said, “We set up the world system that transfers resources of Africa to the rest of the world, are we surprise that we have poverty, insecurity and some people are moving from this part of the world to other part to seek for better life?
“I will like to see a conversation on migration that is part and parcel of a wider conversation of the world order on what can the world do to develop Africa.
“When we go and sit with the President of France, let’s not talk about how many guns or soldiers you can give us, let’s talk about how many solar panels you can build in the Sahel and generate electricity and create industry and create jobs.”
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