Coalition of West African Regional Civil Society, made up of Trade World Network (TWN), based in Accra , Ghana, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Abuja, Labour Unions, farmers’ groups, etc, has stressed that the region’s development should be the sole purpose of the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The Nigerian Labour Congress and the Liberia Labour Congress have joined their voices in the clamour for West African governments not to sign the Economic partnership Agreements, as proposed by the European Union.
Nigeria and Ghana are to hold a business summit in October to facilitate bilateral trade relations between them.
The ECOWAS Trade Commissioner, Mohammed Daramy, has given some of the many reasons why Nigeria refused to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which deadline expired on December 31, 2007.
West African states are working at salvaging regional relations with a renewed attempt to collectively negotiate an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union.
The country will lose an average of $478.4 million revenue in 2008 if it implements the degree of import liberalization as demanded by the Europeans through the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, a top official of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Chibuzo Nwoke has warned.
Nigerian cocoa producers have said that the Economic Partnership Agreement will underdevelop Nigeria’s economy because the EU standard makes it necessary for exporters to add value to cocoa, something Nigerian cocoa producers cannot comply with.
Ivory Coast will sign a definitive Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe in June, which it believes will open the door for other West African countries. it is also advising regional powerhouse Nigeria on how to seal an EPA.
Following the decision of Nigeria not to endorse the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union, cocoa processing firms in that country have been facing stiff export hurdles, resulting in multi-million dollar losses since the beginning of January.
A coalition of civil society organisations in Nigeria have called on the Federal Government and other members of the West Africa region to refrain from agreeing with the European Commission on the Economic Partnership Agreements in their current state
Africa’s largest nations are trying to block the signing of the economic partnership agreements with the European Union, Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner has claimed.
The European Union Commissioner for Trade, Mr. Peter Mandelson was quoted recently as saying that Nigeria is "sitting like an elephant in the middle of the road."
Nigeria could also lose $680 million annually if the agreements were implemented, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria
India decided on October 16 to extend a line of credit of 250 million USD and 100 million USD worth of agricultural and industrial supplying for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It also agreed to sign within the next six months a bilateral investment promotion and protection treaty with Nigeria.
Nigerian captains of commerce and industry have warned that the proposed trade agreements are not in the best interest of the growth of industry in the country.
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG), an arm of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has listed the impediments to pro-export growth in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region.
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has warned that harmonisation of tariffs under the proposed ECOWAS-EU Economic Partnership Agreement will lead to loss of over 478 million dollars (about N6.2 billion) in revenue from non-oil exports annually, and closure of some industries in the country.
The Federal Government has been called upon to take the lead in driving the Economic Community of West African States-Economic Partnership Agreement (ECOWAS-EPA) negotiations in order to guide the developing region towards effective regional integration and improved trade practices.
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson admitted that if the EPA negotiation does not finish this year, there are options available which he termed as expensive and not so good.
A number of African governments have made efforts to encourage investment in the continent by entering into bilateral investment treaties and adopting arbitration legislation.