Nigerias President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that he is a “slow reader” hence his failure to sign a continental free-trade agreement.
This can be described as an ammunition to his critics call him "Baba Go-slow".
Mr Buhari said he intends to sign the agreement, reached by African leaders at a summit in Rwanda in March, soon.
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According to Reuters news agency President Buhari said that “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 am a slow reader, maybe because I was 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,” he added.
Mr Buhari was speaking during a visit to Nigeria by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Earlier on Mr Ramaphosa had said that that South Africa saw huge benefits from the continental free trade deal and that a draft agreement relating to the movement of people was being reviewed.
This was Mr Ramaphosa's first visit to Nigeria since he became president in February.