On 7th July 2019, Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA”) agreement. The effective date of the agreement ought to have been July 2020 but due to the global pandemic, it was postponed to 1st January 2021. However, member states were required to ratify the AfCFTA agreement on or before 5th December 2020.
On Wednesday, 11th November 2020, the Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Accordingly, on 1st January 2021, the AfCFTA agreement will become effective. The AfCFTA will be implemented in phases. The first stage is the establishment of a protocol for trade in goods and services and a protocol for dispute resolution rules. The second stage will deal with competition, investment and intellectual property rights.
We view Nigeria’s ratification of the AfCFTA agreement as a significant development especially in Nigeria’s shipping industry as it opens the sector to the larger African market, giving Nigerian shipowners access to opportunities beyond Nigeria’s territorial waters. This also allows increased access to Nigerian goods and services in the wider African market.
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Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun by telephone (+234 1 462 2094), fax (+234 01 461 3140)