The Federal Government has provided 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 items which, were donated at the request of the Nigerien government, include 100 bulletproof vests worth 2.8 million CFA, five Toyota Coastal buses and two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
Also donated for the purpose of the events but to be returned to Nigeria are 40 other vehicles of different brands.
The Nigerian Ambassador to the Niger Republic, Attahiru Dahiru, who confirmed the donation of the items in Niamey on Saturday, said, “everything they requested for has been provided for them and they are happy.”
President Muhammadu Buhari is participating at the conference in the Nigerien capital, Niamey where he is expected to sign the AfCFTA agreement on Sunday.
The Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the 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 had informed that 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.
A statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) at the weekend had 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.”