€6.5bn EU/ECOWAS EPA treaty suffers setback

The refusal by the Federal Government to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU) for the take-off implementation of the economic treaty had made the EU to put on hold the trade pact for other infrastructural developments in the country.

Consequently, with this EU’s volte-face, Nigeria would lose about €3.3 billion this year out of the €6.5 billion fund set aside for the next four years beginning from 2015 to 2019, as well as during the transition period of 20 years till 2035, but the EPA was yet to be signed by the Federal Government.

Whereas, the inability of the Federal Government to sign the EPA treaty was not only frustrating the entire ECOWAS trade market, but was also allowing the EU to have a rethink on the trade agreement implementation as dialogue continues with the Federal Government.

The EU had said that the EPA development programme was developed to provide funding for projects linked to trade, industry, energy and transport infrastructure in the ECOWAS region.

Speaking with New Telegraph in an interview, EU Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Filippo Amato, said the pact had been put on hold to allow ECOWAS continues with its dialogue with the Federal Government on the economic benefits to the region as a whole.

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