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MAN rejects ECOWAS-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, seeks review of terms

The leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buahri not to sign the ECOWAS-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) deal, saying grey areas must be reviewed before signing.

This according to the President of MAN, Mr. Frank Jacobs will convert Nigeria to a dumping ground for finished products from the European Union.

He harped on the need to clarify issues bordering on market access before endorsing the agreement to avoid the errors committed in signing  ECOWAS CET some years ago which is now frustrating Nigerian manufacturers.

Jacobs argued further that the EPA will come with negative consequences on local manufacturing in particular and the economy in general, especially in the areas of job creation, loss of investment and revenue to government.

The key fear is the fact that the EPA is structured to limit the growth of manufacturing in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria.

MAN President averred that “MAN’s concern is premised on the fact that from all parameters, West African states, including Nigeria, are not at the same level of economic development with any European country. Therefore, we are not in a position to conclude a reciprocal trade relationship as espoused in the trade agreement with EU”.

“Based on the country’s national interest, the last and present administrations took a pragmatic decision not to join other West African states in endorsing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in its present form as it is not development oriented but designed to turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for European products. In appreciation of this, MAN and other stakeholders commended the Federal Government for acting in the national interest.

“MAN believes that given the reality of today’s world and the current stagflation in the economy, our nation can ill-afford to rely on exporting raw commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, solid minerals and unprocessed agricultural products. We need to break this circle and invoke deliberate efforts to industrialise our economy, which is consistent with Government policy on improving ease of doing business.

“In going forward, MAN recommends that our decision should continue to be dictated by our national industrial aspiration to develop a virile manufacturing sector. Our national interest dictates that we should not sign the ECOWAS-EU EPA which is structured to destroy our industries both in the short and long run,” MAN President, Jacobs said.

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