Nigeria: Why Nigeria Won't Sign Economic Partnership Agreement With EU - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said the insistence on probity, transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors is to secure the future of the country for all Nigerians, especially the youths.

Receiving a Letter of Credence from the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, Ketil Iversen Karlsen, at the State House, 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 per cent of Nigerians fall into the age category of youth 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.

President Buhari told the Head of Delegation of the European Union that Nigeria had been reluctant to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) among ECOWAS countries because of the need to protect the economy, especially the industries and small businesses that currently provide jobs for majority Nigerians.

He 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.

"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.

Mr 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.

In his remarks, Mr 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.

Mr Buhari also received Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Italy, Stefano Pontesilli and the Ambassador of Spain, Marcelino Ansorena.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Premium Times

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.