Leadership Nigeria | 8 July 2008
Why Nigeria Refused To Sign EPA - ECOWAS
The ECOWAS Trade Commissioner, Mohammed Daramy, has given some of the many reasons why Nigeria refused to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which deadline expired on December 31, 2007.
Among the reasons was the inability of the European Union (EU) countries to provide the funds to take care of the adjustment costs under the EPA. Nigeria , he said, insisted that the funds must be placed on the table and not mere promises of assistance, considering the enormous loss of revenue that would follow the implementation of the agreement.
Besides, Nigeria insisted that there was need for the formulation of a credible time-table for the partners under the agreement to have access to each other’s market.
More importantly, Nigeria insisted that the texts of the agreement must be ’indigenous" and not the one foisted on ECOWAS countries by the EU. With the support of ECOWAS, Nigeria pledged to sign when its eyes are wide open and not under any undue pressure.
Making these known on Monday in Abuja at the ongoing regional dialogue on EPA by the West African Civil Society Platform, the eloquent ECOWAS Trade Commissioner argued that Nigeria ’s failure to sign the agreement has provided another opportunity for its neighbours to ensure that they get a development-oriented EPA that would engender growth and development of their regional economies.
Daramy also stated that Nigeria ’s failure to sign the interim EPAs which its neighbours signed stemmed a possible breakdown of law and order which would have affected the security of lives and properties of ECOWAS nationals across the borders.
In line with the shortcomings observed in the agreement, he said that ECOWAS Commission has taken responsibility of preparing an authentic timetable as well as text for the agreement which will see the region taking full advantage of the agreement.