The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday that plans have been concluded to sign visa-free pacts with a bloc of 8 African countries. This has been done to promote economic partnership on the continent.

Though the names of the countries making up the blocs have not been disclosed, the minister noted that trading among African countries had been very low, stating that the agreement is expected to upsurge the economic activities.

The Minister said: “Africa is the centerpiece of our foreign policy but it is a paradox that as a Nigerian, you cannot go to an African country without a visa unlike what is obtainable in Western Europe.

“To address this as a leader in the continent, the country is at a point of introducing an initiative to promote African trade as part of the country’s foreign policy of Africa as the centerpiece.

“We believe we can just start off, eight countries and they agree among themselves, then others will come in”.

He added that the pact would not help if the continent continued to export just raw materials to developed nations.

Furthermore, he stated that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is working toward enhancing doing business with ease in Nigeria.

Author: Ope Adedeji