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Thursday, 14 July 2016

EU earmarks N2.03tr for Nigeria, others’ EPA devt

The Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion at the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission, Mr. Kalilou Traore yesterday said the European Union (EU) and its member states have set aside 6.5 billion euros (about N2.03trillion) to support West Africa’s Economic Partner Agreement (EPA) Development Programme for the next five years. He added that the partners have committed to jointly fund the development dimension of EPA for at least 20 years through trade liberalisation in West Africa and also improve the subsidy of processed products for export. According to him, 20 countries have already signed EPA in the sub region except Nigeria and The Gambia. But the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar yesterday in Kano said the Federal Government refused to sign EPA because it was taking its time to come out from its current economic challenges. Hajiya Aisha who spoke during a one-day sensitisation seminar on EPA organised by the EU and the ECOWAS held at the Grand Central Hotel, said: “Nigeria and Gambia withheld their signatories to the agreement due to some identified issues of national importance that needed to be addressed.”

Source: financialwatchngr.com