The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has advised the National Assembly to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to ensure its speedy implementation.
NANTS president, Ken Ukaoha, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja said its ratification would enable Nigeria to quickly join the nations that would benefit from the agreement.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 7, at the 12th African Union (AU) Extraordinary Summit in Niamey, Niger Republic, signed the agreement establishing AfCFTA.
A lawyer, Mr Ukaoha said the parliament had a major role to play in terms of ratifying the AfCFTA agreement, adding that after signing such an agreement, its endorsement should follow suit.
“And of course, we know that courtesy of Section 12 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended, no international agreement or treaty can come into force except it is ratified by the National Assembly.
“So the National Assembly should also be seriously and urgently doing so in recourse to provisions of Section 19 of the Constitution which is part of the fundamental objectives of the government
“One is that our foreign policy objective is in tandem with the AfCFTA, therefore the National Assembly should look at AfCFTA from that angle and ratify it because the implementation is knocking at the door,’’ Mr Ukaoha said.
He said there is no need of wasting time in the process. The private sector has decided to move along and so the National Assembly should rise up and do their bidding.
Speaking about its implementation, he stated that the reports of the Presidential Committee on AfCFTA had already shown what Nigeria should do as a country to effectively implement the agreement for the benefit of the people.
“It is one thing to sign an agreement and another thing to implement such agreement. There are things we need to do as a country for us to be part of the benefits.’’