Why I refused to sign ECOWAS’ Economic Partnership Agreement – Buhari Spits Fire

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President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday in Abuja
explained why he refused to sign Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA) among ECOWAS countries.

 He said this was because of the need to protect the
economy, especially the industries and small businesses
that currently provide jobs for majority Nigerians.


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Buhari spoke while receiving a Letter of Credence from the
Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, Ketil
Iversen Karlsen, at the State House, Abuja.

The President noted that the signing of the agreement will
expose the industries and small businesses to external
pressures and competitions, which could lead to closures
and job losses.


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“We are not enthusiastic about signing the EPA because
of our largely youthful population. We are still struggling
to provide jobs for them, and we want our youths to be
kept busy.

“Presently, our industries cannot compete with the more
efficient and highly technologically driven industries in
Europe. We have to protect our industries and our youths,’’
he said.

 Buhari, who commended the EU for its support for the
rehabilitation of the North East, noted that the Nigerian
economy was already being repositioned to attract more
investments that will create jobs.

 President Buhari said his administration will continually
promote the culture of honesty and integrity in service,
which will guarantee a better future for the youth.

“Our insistence on probity is to encourage people to be
accountable, and accept honesty as a lifestyle so as to
secure the future of our youths,’’ he said.

The President said more than 60 percent of Nigerians fall
into the age category of youths and deserve to inherit a
stable and prosperous country that they can be proud of,
adding that the government will work assiduously to
prevent waste and the depletion of resources by corrupt Nigerians.

 In his remarks, Karlsen said the EU will continue to
support President Buhari’s administration in the key
priorities it listed; security, economy and the fight against
corruption.

He said the EPA was designed to accommodate and
protect some economies that would find it difficult to
compete.

 “We are hopeful that there will be a signature on the
agreement,’’ he added.


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