Lagos — Nigeria decided not join the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) last week because it needs to carry out more consultations at home first, the government said on Tuesday. Other leaders agreed to form a zone encompassing 1.2-billion people, but 11 countries, including Nigeria SA, did not sign up. The omissions were a blow to African Union (AU) plans to cut back red tape and other barriers that have strangled trade between African countries — which accounts for just 15% of total commerce on the continent. "Minister of Foreign Affairs: The decision for President @MBuhari to not attend the #AfCFTA signing ceremony was taken because we realised more inclusive (domestic) consultations needed to take place before Nigeria signs," read a message on the presidency’s Twitter feed. It did not go into any details on the nature of the consultations. SA did immediately comment on its reasons for not signing last week. Others staying on the sidelines are Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia,...

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