Buhari On Delayed Signing of African Free Trade Agreement: 'I am a Slow Reader'
"I didn't read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature," says Nigeria's president.
In March, 44 African nations signed a free trade agreement, to improve intra-regional trade. Nigeria, one of the continent's largest economies, was noticeably absent from the signing.
On Wednesday, President Buhari announced that Nigeria would finally sign on to the $3 trillion African free-trade agreement, reports Reuters.
It was previously stated that Nigeria had opted out of the deal in order to maintain control over it's own business and industry. However, in a meeting wth South Africa's President Cyril Mariposa in Abuja yesterday, the Nigerian president revealed that there was also somewhat of a personal reason for the delay:
In trying to guarantee employment, goods and services in our country, we have to be careful with agreements that will compete, maybe successfully, against our upcoming industries.
I am a slow reader, maybe because I was an ex-soldier. I didn't read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature. I kept it on my table. I will soon sign it.
Critics have often described Buhari as a sluggish, slow to act leader, and his most recent comments have only left him open to further criticism.