Obasanjo face off with Buhari’s administration

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Nigeria’s ex- president, Olusegun Obasanjo and Chairman,Advisory Board of the First Intra-African Trade Fair holding in Cairo, Egypt,on Sunday lamented over Nigeria’s failure to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), despite its leadership role in the continent.

The ex-president stated this at the Exhibitions tagged“Conversation with former Nigerian president. He however noted that other African countries are prepared to go ahead with the implementation of the pact with Nigeria absent.

Obasanjo said “I just sincerely hope and pray that Nigeria will be at the table before the implementation of the scheme begins. But the truth is that whether Nigeria is there or not, Africa has started to move forward and it cannot stop the rest of continent that have already signed the agreement.

“We started it from 1963. From there we had the Lagos Plan of Action, then NEPAD, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)and several others. But what has gone wrong today that Nigeria is taking the back stage in Africa’s economic integration initiative?”

According to him, Africa needs the AfCFTA to clear up the impression about Africa.

“I don’t care what people say about me but I believe this is the time that we need to rise together and prove to world leaders that go with the perception that Africans live in huts and that we are shit holes, that we are human beings and the only way we can do this is by improving the standard of living of Africans,” Obasanjo added.

It can be noted that as at March 21, 2018, 44 of the 55African Union (AU) member states were together in Kigali, Rwanda, to sign the AfCFTA with the aim of creating a single market in the continent.

As soon as the agreement is ratified by all signatories, the trade bloc to be created would encompass 1.2 billion people and over $2trillionin combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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