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Reps Examines Nature of EPA Agreement With European Union

Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja

House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its committees on Commerce and Industry to ascertain the nature of the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA between Nigeria and the European Union.

The resolution of the House was sequel to a motion entitled “call for caution in the implementation of the EPA between European Union and Nigeria”. 

Sponsor of the motion, Segun Adekola noted that there has been a recent push by the EU to expand its economic relations with Nigeria through the implementation of the EPA which has been resisted by operator of sectors in the Nigerian economy.

He explained that based on the terms of the agreement, the EU would offer 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS full access to its market and in return, members of ECOWAS would open up 75 per cent of their markets with over 300 million consumers to Europe over a 20 year period.

“Nigeria has a weak manufacturing base occasion by infrastructural deficit and environmental factors and thus is not on the same economic pedestal with any European Country to warrant such a reciprocal trade as envisaged in the trade agreement.

“The agreement would lead to stunting of the growth of industries in West Africa, with serious economic and employment consequences for Nigeria which controls 60 per cent share of the regional market, “he said.

Contributing to the motion and kicking against the motion,  Adams Sulieman said the agreement initially led to the collapse of the textile industry in the country.

According to him, the textile industry employed labour of about 2 million people adding that with the agreement, Nigeria has been opened up to various kinds of smuggling activities.

He said the perpetrators of the evil in the past are using this means to come back into the country insisting that, “we must resist it”. 

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