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NANTs wants Nigeria to analyse impact assessment of EPA

by Business News Report

The National Association of Nigerian Traders on Tuesday advised the Federal Government to study the impact assessment report on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU before signing it. Mr Ken Ukaoha, the President of NANTS, gave the advice in an interview in Abuja.
EPA is a scheme to create a free trade area between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), with a view to eliminating tariffs, import quotas and custom duties. It is also aimed at eliminating other restrictions on most of the goods and services traded between the signatory nations. Impact assessment is a process aimed at structuring and supporting the development of policies; it identifies and assesses the problem at stake and the objectives being pursued.

Ukaoha said that from available impact assessment report “the EPA is negative based on the disparity in the volume of trade between Nigeria and EU’’. Nigeria should look at the available impact assessment report which has shown that we are at a disadvantage based on the volume of what we import from EU and what we export to it.
“The government must look at the comparative trade arrangement and check if it has the potential based on the trade indices. The chunk of our export comes from oil which means we will not be gaining much from the agreement.’’ The NANTS boss said Nigeria should enter into economic agreements in areas it had comparative advantage, adding that it did not have the potential to compete with EU based on its level of manufacturing. It would be recalled that the EU recently urged the Nigeria to append its signature to the EPA, claiming that the pact held a lot of benefits for the country. The EPA was agreed in Cotonu in 2000 under the ACP-EU Development Cooperation, but some African countries have not signed it.

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