The Nigerian government said yesterday it had ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area – a key step towards the long-negotiated creation of the world’s largest free trade area. The AFP reports that the deal, signed by 54 of the African Union’s 55 member states, commits countries to 90 percent tariff cuts within a five-year period. The AU estimates it will boost trade by 60 per cent between the continent’s 1.2 billion people by 2022.Nigeria, home to 200 million people, was seen as hesitant to ratify the deal because its economy is largely dependent on oil, a commodity traded globally rather than within the continent.