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Nigeria Refuses to Sign Free Trade Agreement

As the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria`s decision to hold off on signing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has sparked debate and concern throughout the continent.

The AfCFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services, with the goal of boosting intra-African trade and increasing economic growth. The agreement, signed by 54 of the 55 African countries, is expected to create a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $3 trillion.

However, Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed concerns about the potential negative impact on its domestic industries, particularly the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Nigerian officials have also raised concerns about the ease of movement of goods and people across borders, as well as the potential for increased smuggling and counterfeiting.

The decision by Nigeria, which accounts for approximately 20% of Africa`s gross domestic product, has led to fears that the AfCFTA may not be able to achieve the desired goals without full participation from Nigeria.

While some experts argue that Nigeria`s concerns are valid and that the country needs to protect its industries, others point out that the benefits of increased trade, investment and job creation far outweigh the potential negative impacts.

In addition, there are concerns that Nigeria`s decision could lead to a fragmentation of the African market, making it more difficult for African countries to compete on a global scale.

Despite the concerns raised by Nigeria, it is important to note that the AfCFTA has the potential to transform the African economy and lift millions out of poverty. As such, it is crucial that all African countries work together to address concerns and find ways to ensure that the agreement benefits all parties.

Ultimately, Nigeria`s decision not to sign the AfCFTA highlights the complex challenges facing African countries as they work to increase economic growth and promote regional integration. It is important for all stakeholders to come together to find solutions that benefit everyone involved.