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Nigeria: Country to lose $478.4 million revenue to EPA

Nigeria: Country to lose $478.4million revenue to EPA

Lagos (Nigeria) - The country will lose an average of $478.4million revenue in 2008 if it implements the degree of import liberalization as demanded by the Europeans through the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, a top official of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Chibuzo Nwoke has warned.

By Daily Trust (Nigeria), by Mohammed Shosanya | 05.20.2008

The Economic Partnership Agreements are the new trade arrangements that are being negotiated between the 27 countries of the European Union and the 78 countries of Africa- Carribean as a major instrument for economic and trade cooperation.

Senegalese President Abdulaye Wade and the Chairman of the Africa Business Round Table Bamanga Tukur had called for the rejection of the controversial EPA, saying the idea being muted by the Europeans is not in the interest of Africa. Nwoke, who is the Head, Division of International Economic Relations, Research Department of the NIIA, disclosed this weekend at a two-day workshop on the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the European Union and West African States, jointly organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria [MAN] and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG.

He said that the revenue loss would trickle down to an average of S341million in year 2020, adding that the impact of tariff revenue loss would be quite significant on the nation’s economy because it would constitute about 39 percent of total non-oil revenue. Besides losses in sectoral output as well as increased poverty on general welfare losses, Nwoke said that the policy options to address the revenue loss would be costly and create excruciating pains for Nigerians.

"In relative terms, Nigeria would end up bearing virtually all of the burden of adjustment, while the European Union countries will capture all of the benefits arising from Nigeria’s participation in the proposed West African-European Union EPA initiative. "The implementation of the EPA, especially at the pace being pushed by the European Union, will strain Nigeria’s financial and administrative capacity, and divert attention away from the real development concerns. The EPA is likely to pose a major challenge to the Nigeria’s economy."

Nwoke also said it is not likely that the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA will move the country from its present position of primary resource exporter to exporter of manufactured goods adding that certain strategic measures should be taken to reverse the ugly trend. "The starting point is to put in place good governance and patriotic and visionary leadership that will ensure that we take the initiative and are proactive in securing our national interest in our economic partnership with the European Union,’’ he advised.

 source: Afrika News Update