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EU threatens to block market access for Nigerian products

Staff Writer | October 18, 2016
After October, the European Union may terminate the Temporary Free Market Access it granted Nigeria and other ECOWAS member States to export their products to the Union.
Michel Arrion
Food trade   Investigation by Financial Vanguard
This is because of Nigeria’s failure to sign the Economic Community of West African States.

Investigation by Financial Vanguard reveals that of the sixteen ECOWAS Member countries, twelve have ratified the agreement, except for Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra-Leone and the Gambia.

Investigation further revealed that EU is Nigeria’s biggest trade partner for exports, accounting for 36 percent, followed by India 15 percent, Brazil 10 percent, South Africa 5 percent and Japan 4 percent.

On the imports side, the Peoples Republic of China is the country’s main export partner accounting for 25 percent, EU 19 percent, USA 10 percent and India 5 percent.

EU Ambassador/Head of EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michel Arrion, disclosed that the EU has no offensive agenda for Nigeria and other countries in the region, adding that other West African countries will appreciate Nigeria’s contribution to the West African regional cohesion, as they need the EPA to retain their EU access after October 2016.

According to the EU, the EPA has no hidden agenda; rather the benefits of the trade deal should be properly appraised by stakeholders.

Arrion said the EU will be making strong commitments in terms of financial development assistance, saying that the EU and its member States have all agreed to provide a minimum of 6.5 billion euros of trade development assistance every five years till 2035.