The African Development Bank (AfDB) has debunked a report which alleged that an official of the bank said the Nigerian government has not signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement because it does not understand it.
The bank's Director of Communications and External Relations, Mr Victor Oladokun, in a statement, on Monday, said Mr Mukhtar Abdu, AfDB's Director of Industrial and Trade Development, who was quoted in the report didn't say anything of such.
The statement quoted Mr Abdu as saying, "The bank's understanding is that the Nigeria government is consulting with the private sector, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and other critical stakeholders, which the bank considers to be a step in the right direction."
He also said "while initiatives such as ACFTA include discussions with multiple, key stakeholders, the African Development Bank is optimistic that Nigeria, the continent's most populous country, will soon conclude consultations, ratify and join the African Continental Free Trade Area."
Nigeria is an important member of the African Development Bank and an important country for ACFTA, he told journalists in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Mr Abdu also spoke about regional integration, entrepreneurship and the role of the private sector in the bank's transformative agenda.