Nigeria’s Buhari rejects another free trade deal

Story highlights

  • Nigeria declines to sign Economic Partnership Agreement
  • Deal aims to bring West Africa-EU trade agreement
Nigerian President Buhari is yet to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which aims to establish a free trade area between 16 West African countries (and Mauritania) and the European Union.
Free gift? China extends influence in Africa with $32M grant for regional HQ

Free gift? China extends influence in Africa with $32M grant for regional HQ

In a statement delivered in the Nigerian capital Abuja Thursday, the Nigerian president said he didn’t sign to protect national industries and the country’s youth population.
“Our industries cannot compete with the more efficient and highly technologically driven industries in Europe.”
“We are not enthusiastic about signing the EPA because of our largely youthful population,” he said.
The EPA plans to remove trade restrictions between ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa States) and the EU. The partnership covers goods as well as cooperation on development.
West Africa is the EU’s top trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. The EU is West Africa’s largest trading relationship.

Buhari pivots against free trade agreements

This isn’t the first time President Buhari has refused to sign an African free trade deal.
Last month at a summit in the Rwandan capital Kigali, Nigeria was one of 10 African countries not to agree to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).
44 African countries agree free trade agreement, Nigeria yet to sign

44 African countries agree free trade agreement, Nigeria yet to sign

The agreement plans to bring the 55 African Union member states closer by reducing barriers to trade. It’s an effort to boost intra-African trade which in 2016 stood at only 10%.
If agreed, it will be the largest trade agreement since the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995.
African free trade agreements are being accelerating by leaders committed to Pan-African integration.
However, Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, appears resistant to regional and continental deals.

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