Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has notified that Nigeria will still be involved in talks within the country regarding its position on the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, between ECOWAS and the European Union.
This was disclosed at the concluded meeting of West African leaders, Dakar. According to him, “there are on-going negotiations on it. We are discussing with the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) and some other key economic players about it.”
The Vice President revealed that Nigeria is yet to fully endorse the agreement because of certain concerns. In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, he noted that “we understand some of the terms of this agreement are capable of restricting their-manufacturers-trading activities and we would not want this to happen.”
Prof. Osinbajo explained that in the consultation process, it was of the imperative to be cautious during the decision making process, taking all stakeholders into consideration.
Consequently, he stated that for now, the federal government will continue to engage in wide consultations with relevant stakeholders before coming to a conclusion on the Economic Partnership Agreement. The EPA is a free trade deal that had been initialled by EU and ECOWAS negotiators covering trade in goods and development cooperation.
While a number of West African nations have endorsed the deal, a few including Nigeria have raised issues regarding the implications of the deal, being championed by the European Union.