Buhari attends AU summit in Niger Republic, signs FCT appropriation act, two others 

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TRACKING>>President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja today for Niamey, Niger Republic to attend the African Union (AU) Summit, scheduled to hold tomorrow.

President Buhari will participate in 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.

A statement signed by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the extraordinary session of the Assembly of the Union is 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.

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 and the committee had recommended Nigeria should sign the agreement, which aims to boost intra-African trade. President Buhari will sign the AfCFTA Agreement on the margins of the AU meeting in Niamey.

President Buhari will be accompanied by the First Lady, Governors Babagana Zulum, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Aminu Bello Masari of Borno, Kebbi and Katsina States, respectively.

Other top government officials include Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Suleiman; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Sunday Akpan; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Nuratu Batagarawa; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and Director-General, National Office for Trade Negotiations, Chinedu Osakwe.

Also, the President has assented to the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act, 2019. Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang, explained that the act appropriates a total sum of N243, 374,511.077 for the 2019 financial year out of which N130.7 billion is for capital expenditure while the balance is for recurrent. Enang said Buhari also assented to Bills for the establishment of two Federal polytechnics, Federal Polytechnic, Kaltungo, Gombe State and Federal Polytechnic, Daura, Katsina State.

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