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Monday, March 6, 2017
Nigeria begins trade negotiations with African countries
~Punch Nigeria. Tuesday, February 7, 2017
The Federal Government will this week begin another round of negotiations with all the countries in the African region under the Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The Strategic Communications Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Constance Ikokwu, who confirmed the development, said the Nigerian negotiation team, consisting of eight members, would be led by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah.
She said the team had the mandate to engage colleagues from 53 other African nations on the emerging draft substantive text of the CFTA being reviewed in the six technical working groups.
Ikokwu explained that the meetings to be held in Rwanda would last for 11 days, adding that the team was expected to report back the proceedings to the Federal Government.
She said in a statement that the Nigerian trade team would continue to argue for flexibility that would allow it to safeguard the economy from a flood of imports, even as it remained an open economy.
The statement quoted Enelamah to have said, "These negotiations are a geo-strategic imperative because of Nigeria's standing, position and leadership. Nigeria has a duty to provide leadership, inter alia, because the CFTA negotiations are based on a mandate from the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
"Increasing intra-African trade is crucial in a global economy that is turning protectionist. The CFTA negotiations provide a huge opportunity for economic growth and increased welfare in Africa, in a global economy in rapid but uncertain transformation.
"At the same time, we will continue to take into cognizance the complexities of our domestic market and ensure appropriate safeguards for the Nigerian economy."
The AU had set a deadline of December 2017 for the adoption of the CFTA. However, experienced negotiators say it is a gruelling process and that the adoption will depend on how much progress is made.
Once concluded, the CFTA will enhance the movement of goods and services, boost trade facilitation and support the Presidential Initiative on the Ease of Doing Business within the 54-member block of the continent.
THE IGBO RANT
BIBLICAL TRADITIONS OF NDI IGBO BEFORE THE MISSIONARIES CAME TO AFRICA* IGBO 101.
THE IGBO TRIBE AND ITS FEAR OF EXTINCTION
The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities
Written by Emeka Maduewesi
~on fb. 28th September, 2016.
The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.
The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.
In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.
Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.
In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.
The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.
Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.
The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.
The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.
The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.
This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.
RT. HON. DR. NNAMDI AZIKIWE TO DR. CHUBA OKADIGBO (1981)
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