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Reps summon Aganga over economic partnership with EU

22 May 2014, 10:44

Abuja - The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, over the latest European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement with Nigeria and other African countries.

In a resolution in Abuja, the House expressed reservations over the agreement, saying that there was an urgent need to scrutinise and re-evaluate it.

The House said the minister should appear to explain in details what Nigeria stood to benefit from a partnership that looks skewed in favour of the economies of Europe to the detriment of the economies of African countries and Nigeria in particular.

It also wants the minister to brief the lawmakers on the likely consequences for Nigeria’s failure to endorse the partnership.

The EU gave Nigeria up until October 1 to endorse the agreement.

The resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by a member from Akwa Ibom State,  Akpan Micah-Umoh.

Leading the debate on the motion, the lawmaker feared that job opportunities for Nigerian youths would be transferred to Europeans if the country endorsed the partnership.

Micah-Umoh said, “If Nigeria endorses the new European Union Economic Partnership Agreement, we will inadvertently transfer job opportunities of our children to their children, and we will become a dumping ground of their goods to the total annihilation of our industries and manufacturing systems.

He argued that the agreement would not favour Nigeria because it simply implied that the country should throw its doors open to all manners of European economic interests and influence.

Micah-Umoh further said, “Europe had in the past used public sector funds to build their economy and become a developed economy.

Members passed the motion in a unanimous voice vote and referred it to the Joint Committee on Treaties/Commerce for further legislative action.

-  NAN

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