By Chuks Emele
The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) by Nigeria will be delayed while “clear directives” on tariff-free goods are worked out by the relevant authorities, according to the Nigerian Customs Service.
“We wish to reconfirm our willingness and readiness to play our role as trade facilitators in this regard,” Joseph Attah, the spokesman for the service, said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Hence the need to methodically harvest and integrate all data associated with AfCTA into our system for easy deployment, access and use by the trading public.”
The agency said its implementation of the free will await the following steps:
- The creation of a National Action Committee that will provide the list of waived duties and charges under the agreement.
- The provision of a list of ” the 90% liberalized National Trade Offers,” that of “70% non-liberalized exclusive goods at the regional level” and the “3% non-liberalized sensitive goods.”
- The designation of the appropriate authority that will have responsibility for “issuing and authenticating certificates of origin and registering enterprises and products within the region.”
The AfCTA, which creates the world’s biggest free-trade area, encompassing Africa’s 1.2 billion people, came into effect this January. It is aimed a boosting intra-African trade and overcoming arbitrary colonial boundaries that have hampered inter-African trade and integration.