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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Expert Urges EU to Develop Nations Infrastructure for EPA

Dr Jonathan Aremu, a consultant to the Common Investment Market of ECOWAS, has urged the European Union (EU) to show commitment in developing Nigeria's infrastructure before the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is signed. The EPA is a trade agreement being negotiated currently between West Africa and the EU to open up the West African market to products from Europe.
Aremu said without developing the country's infrastructure, concluding the EPA negotiations would not be possible in the near future.
"If there is a way in which they can commit themselves to developing the infrastructure, we can sign it but without concluding it, opening our doors to their products will not be good for us. "Up till now, the EU has not been able to come up with an acceptable development initiative to ensure that production and supply rigidity are addressed. So, that is why it has not been signed," he said. The consultant said the most critical development issue in the country was the power problem, which had made production to be "highly inefficient and very expensive. "So, if we sign something like that now, then the soap-making company in Nigeria will not be able to produce. We have to be importing all the soaps from Europe." Aremu, who was the Chairman of the Investment Section of the EPA Committee in Nigeria, stressed that the country's power sector and road network should be developed

Source: Allafrica