The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Nigeria had earlier set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA to look into the ratification process.
Ratification is the act of signing or formally consenting to a treaty, contract, or agreement, after due legislative process, thus making it valid for official purposes.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ifedayo Sayo, said FEC finally approved the process on Wednesday at its meeting.
With the approval of the agreement, Nigeria joins other African nations who have already ratified the agreement to become a State Party to the agreement, which is expected to be the largest market in the world with a population of about 1.2billion people.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is now expected to prepare the instrument of ratification for the president’s assent for onward transmission to the African Union, the legal depository of all instruments of ratification.
The AfCFTA seeks to create a single market for goods and services and free movement of persons within Africa.
With this ratification, Nigeria is on course to participate in trading under the AfCFTA region.
“This is a huge step forward for the nation, and further demonstrates to the world, Nigeria’s economic leadership position on the African continent,” Mr Malami said.
This approval comes less than two months before the effective start date of the AfCFTA implementation is scheduled to commence on January 1st, 2021.