Photograph — Financial Times

Following the approval of an impact assessment report demanded by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria is now close to signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Nigeria had so far refused to sign the pact over concerns of trade imbalance with other member countries, which could hinder the development of its own economy. But it now appears Africa’s largest and most populous economy is ready to join its fellow member countries in tendering its signatory on the pact.

“I think the president has a sense of urgency about this because when he asked us to conduct an impact assessment study, we were given just three months to finish everything and we have done so,” Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah said.

The AfCFTA’s main objective is the establishment of a single continental market for goods and services as well as the free movement of business people and investments. To achieve this, member countries under the accord are expected to remove tariffs from about 90 percent of the 200 traded items on the continent in a bid to make them more affordable for consumers. Read more here.

Below is the Ventures Africa Weekly Economic Index, for the week ending 31st May 2019. This economic index gives you a glimpse into other recent activities in Nigeria’s economy as well as changes and prices that could affect the economy:

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Data revealed by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as of 31st May 2019, showed that the All-Share Index appreciated by 0.61 percent from the previous week ending 24th May 2019. Market capitalization at the close of trading during the week under review was N13.685 trillion, a 0.61 percent increase from N13.602 trillion recorded the previous week. The All Share Index for the week under review closed at 31,069.37

Top five price gainers and decliners in the week under review:

Top five price gainers


Sterling Bank PLC.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated

AxaMansard Insurance PLC.

Learn Africa PLC

Top five price decliners

Berger Paints PLC

RT Briscoe PLC.

Eterna PLC


Champion brew PLC

How did the Naira fare?


In the week under review, the Naira’s value against the Dollar appreciated in the parallel market. It was sold at N358/$ on Friday 31st May 2019, a naira less than the N359/$ it recorded on the 24th of May 2019.

How did the price of oil fare?

Last week, Brent Oil prices reached a peak of almost $72 per barrel before crashing to $68.02 on the 31st of May 2019, slightly above the $64.97 recorded a week before. Today, this has plunged below $61 owing to fears regarding a potential global economic shutdown caused by US trade wars. With the oil price drop last week, May recorded the biggest monthly loss for oil prices since December 2018. 

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