African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and Its Implications for Nigeria: A Policy Perspective

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue XII, December 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and Its Implications for Nigeria: A Policy Perspective

Adamu Jibrilla

Department of Economics, Adamawa State University Mubi, Nigeria
Ph.D Student, Department of Economics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Abstract: – The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has generated many controversies across the globe as Nigeria- the giant of Africa and the largest economy in the continent declined to join. The reason was that Nigeria needed more time for consultations. This study is an attempt to help the government and policy makers in their search for answers regarding joining the CFTA. It is also essential for other African countries government’s leaders who are still waiting for objective answers. Using secondary data from Central Bank of Nigeria, this study discovers that Nigeria can well fit into the Free Trade Area. In fact, Nigeria has the opportunity to benefit from the Free Trade Area more than any other country in the continent. The benefits can be maximised if Nigeria improves its infrastructures, develop human capital, empower youths and women, develop agricultural sector, encourage value addition, attract quality foreign direct investment, design and implement policies that will allow easy access to finance by investors and above all, tackle the insecurity situation in the country.

Keywords: African, Nigeria, Continental Free Trade Area, Policy, Export, Regional Integration, international trade


The need for a study of this kind by Nigeria, other African countries and any other country intending to join a regional integration cannot be overemphasised. This is because the Nigerian Government is still deciding whether to join or not to join the recently concluded African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Whether to join the Union or not, it is up to the historical data to guide the Nigerian Government and policy makers. As can be deduced from the comments of the Nigerian President regarding his action to decline the signing of the free trade agreement, the main objective of the government is to protect domestic firms. However, this is similar to going back to the Nigerian Indigenisation Policies of 1970s in which the manufacturing sector was closed, in protection of local industries.

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