Nigeria is being blamed for still dragging its feet on whether to sign the Africa’s free trade agreement.
“We say to Nigeria, no pressure… but don’t take too long, because Africa is waiting for Nigeria and South Africa,” South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa made the remarks while addressing the 25th anniversary and annual meeting of export and import bank Afreximbank in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Africa’s free trade agreement has already been signed by 49 out of 55 countries but only six countries have ratified it so far. Twenty-two countries need to do so for it to come into force.
According to this agreement, traders won’t pay tariffs on 90% of goods, while 10% of “sensitive items” will be phased in later.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari did not attend the continental meeting held in Rwanda earlier this year.
Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, said the country had to consult widely before it could sign off. Different stakeholders had raised “legitimate concerns that needed to be answered”.
“It’s an extremely important move for Africa and everything has to be done right. We must never be in a hurry to do things wrong, we must get things right. We must do all the due processes,” she said.