The President said this when he addressed why Nigeria had not yet signed the $3 trillion African Free-Trade Agreement, during a joint press conference with the visiting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Nigeria refused to join a continental free-trade zone established in March, on the grounds that it wishes to defend its own businesses and industry, but the Federal Government later said it wanted more time to consult business leaders.
“I am very careful about what I sign, whether it is my cheque book or agreements, especially when it involves nations and states. As your President has said, we are so populated and have so many young unemployed citizens and our industries are just coming up,” he said.
“So, 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 was presented with the document; I am a very slow reader maybe because I am 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.”