Nigeria signed the treaty establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on July 7, 2019, and in 2020 became the 34th member State to ratify the agreement. The principle of pacta sunt servanda in international law requires that every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith. Thus, any action or inaction of the Nigerian government that trammels its treaty obligations under the AfCFTA will amount to a concomitant breach of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969.
Trading has commenced under the AfCFTA since January this year (2021). The countries that have ratified the agreement, consent to liberalize 90% of tariff lines on goods traded under the AfCFTA for a period of five or ten years for least developed countries (LDCs) and non-least developed countries (non-LDCs) respectively. Nigeria is categorized as a non-LDC in Africa.
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