Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has donated 47 vehicles and military equipment to the government of Niger Republic as assistance towards the successful hosting of the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the First Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Niamey.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Niger Republic, Attahiru Dahiru, made the disclosure Saturday to newsmen on the sidelines of the summit.
Dahiru said the items donated were at the request of the the Nigerien government.
He listed the items to include 100 bullet proof vests worth 2.8 million CFA, five Toyota Coaster buses and two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
Also donated for the purpose of the summit but to be returned to Nigeria are 40 other vehicles of different brands.
According to Dahiru, “everything they requested for has been provided for them and they are happy.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, who is participating at the conference, is expected to sign the AfCFTA agreement on Sunday.
The Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union is also expected to launch the operational instruments of the Agreement establishing AfCFTA.
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.
The Presidency said, ahead of the Summit, that 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 sign the agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had in a statement recalled that while formally accepting the report on June 27, President Buhari said: ”For AfCFTA to succeed, we 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.”