Kano biz com­mu­nity jit­tery over EU-W/Africa pact

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Hal­ima Musa, Kano

The Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (EPA) be­tween Europe and Africa, Caribbean and Pa­cific (ACP) Coun­tries which Nige­ria is sup­pose to be one of the sig­na­to­ries has raised se­ri­ous con­cern among mem­bers of the Kano busi­ness com­mu­nity.

EPA is a Free Trade Agree­ment (FTA) de­signed to cre­ate free trade area be­tween the EU and ACP coun­tries in which du­ties on goods im­ported and ex­ported be­tween the par­ties would b e re­duced and even­tu­ally re­moved.

The Euro­pean Union and West Africa con­cluded in Fe­bru­ary 2014 the ne­go­ti­a­tions for an eco­nomic part­ner­ship agree­ment, bring­ing about 16 coun­tries of the re­gion un­der the agree­ment. 13 out of the 16 states had signed the agree­ment. Nige­ria, The Gam­bia and Mau­ri­ta­nia were yet to sign the agree­ment.

The process, struc­ture and con­tents of the EPA ne­go­ti­a­tions have raised con­cerns about im­pact of the EPA on ACP coun­tries, in­clud­ing Nige­ria.

Ex­press­ing this con­cern, the Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (MAN) said that greater at­ten­tion ought to be paid to en­sure that Nige­ria did not sign what would even­tu­ally kill its al­ready weak econ­omy.

Mak­ing its stand known in Kano, through its na­tional vice pres­i­dent Al­haji Ali safiyanu Madugu, the as­so­ci­a­tion said that Nige­ria had very limited ca­pa­bil­ity to pro­duce and ex­port in­dus­trial goods.

Most of the in­dus­tries in the coun­try were un­de­vel­oped and plagued by lack of sup­port­ive in­fra­struc­ture.

The EU, on the other hand, was the ACP’s largest trad­ing part­ner, with nearly 40% of all ACP ex­ports go­ing to the EU.

EPAs ne­go­ti­a­tions and out­come nor­mally af­fect 39 of the world’s 50 Least De­vel­oped Coun­tries (LDCs) and the lives of over 720m peo­ple liv­ing in the ACP re­gion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.