Lagos (AFP) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the landmark African free trade agreement during the upcoming African Union meeting in Niger, his office said.
"Nigeria will sign the #AfCFTA Agreement at the upcoming Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Niamey, Niger," the presidency said in a Tweet late Tuesday.
African leaders are meeting in Niamey this weekend.
Nigeria had been a key backer of the plan to progressively reduce trade barriers on the continent since talks on the African Continental Free Trade Area got underway in 2002.
However it abruptly changed course shortly before the deal was signed last year following pressure from local unions and businesses fearful that they would be uncompetitive if trade barriers are dropped.
Last week, a special government panel formed to study the potential impact of joining AfCFTA, recommended that Buhari sign Nigeria up.
The trade deal "provides immense opportunities for Nigeria's manufacturing and service companies to expand to Africa," the panel's chair, Desmond Guobadia, said in a statement after submitting its report.via @AFPAfrica