President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed the reason why Nigeria has refused to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement among ECOWAS countries. He gave the reason while receiving Letter of Credence from the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed in a statement that the president refused to sign the deal because he wanted to protect the fragile Nigerian economic, particularly the industries small businesses that currently provide jobs for majority of the people of the country.
He believes that signing the deal would expose the businesses and industries that are trying to survive the economy to external pressures.
“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 technology-driven industries in Europe. We have to protect our industries and our youths,’’ he said.
According to Punch, 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.
While speaking, Karlsen said the EU would continue to support Buhari’s administration in the key priorities it listed — security, economy and the fight against corruption.
“We are hopeful that there will be a signature on the agreement,’’ Karlsen added.
Naija News Understands that President Buhari also accepted Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Italy, Dr. Stefano Pontesilli; and the Ambassador of Spain, Mr. Marcelino Ansorena.