The federal government yesterday said it donated 47 vehicles and military equipment to the Republic of Niger to help it successfully host the 12th Extraordinary Session of the African Union on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Niger, Alhaji Attahiru Dahiru disclosed this at a session with journalists in Niamey as the AU leaders arrived for the AU summit.
According to Dahiru, the items donated include two Armoured Personnel Carriers, five Toyota Coaster buses and 100 bullet-proof vests worth 2.8 million CFA.
The envoy said the donation was made on the request of the Government of Niger, noting that 40 other vehicles of different brands were handed over to the West African country.
He said, “Everything they requested has been provided for them and they are happy.”
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday left Abuja to the Republic of Niger for the summit. The president will likely sign the AfCFTA agreement today.
The presidency had stated that the summit was “expected to launch the operational instruments of the agreement establishing AfCFTA.”
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement gave further details.
The Presidency stated, “The instruments include, AfCFTA Rules of Origin, Tariff Concession Portals, Portal on Monitoring and Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers, Digital Payments and Clearing Systems and African Trade and Observatory Dashboard.
“Prior to the summit, the Buhari administration had embarked on extensive consultations with stakeholders, culminating in the submission of the report by the Presidential Committee to Assess Impact and Readiness of Nigeria to join the AfCFTA.
“The committee had recommended that Nigeria should sign the agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade. Buhari will sign the AfCFTA Agreement on the margins of the AU meeting in Niamey.”
While accepting the report on the AfCFTA on Jun 27, the president had noted that for AfCFTA to succeed, the federal government “must develop policies that promote African production, among other benefits
“Africa, therefore, needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing agenda. Our vision for intra-African trade is for the free movement of ‘made in Africa goods.’ That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition.’’