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Why Nigeria signed Samoa Agreement with EU – Bagudu

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Why Nigeria signed Samoa Agreement with EU – Bagudu

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, explained on Saturday that Nigeria signed the Samoa Agreement with the European Union (EU) to boost food security, inclusive economic development, and other vital areas.

At a press briefing in Abuja, Bagudu emphasized that none of the articles in the agreement between Nigeria and the EU indicated recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights. This clarification comes amid controversy and opposition online, stemming from fears that the agreement might contradict Nigeria’s 2014 law banning same-sex marriages and relationships.

Bagudu, alongside Information Minister Mohammed Idris, assured that Nigeria would not enter into any agreement that contravened its constitution or the religious and cultural sensibilities of its people.

The economic planning minister highlighted that the agreement covers about 200 areas of cooperation, each of which would be supported by an implementation agreement. He stated that these areas would lead to “capital” and “technical support.”

“When you get a copy of the agreement, you will see that this is a broad agreement. It is about education, food security, water and sanitation, decent work, demography, youths, culture and sustainable development, inclusive economic development, private sector development, human rights, democracy and the rule of law, good governance, public administration, personal data, peace and security,” Bagudu explained.

He noted that the Samoa Agreement is intended for multi-sectoral development and mentioned that approximately $600 million worth of projects are coming under the Federal Government’s Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (IDICE) program.

Addressing concerns about the financial details, Bagudu clarified, “There was nowhere in the body of the document where you will see $150bn but these are agreements which I believe, like with other countries, define what we want to relate with those countries in, and how to go about it.”

Bagudu also pointed out that the agreement allows each country to issue a declaration clarifying certain aspects, including concerns about misrepresentation of LGBT provisions.

READ ALSO: It’s deceitful to claim Samoa Agreement has no LGBTQ connection – Lawyer

The Samoa Agreement, signed last November by the European Union, its 27 member states, and 79 member states of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) in Apia, Samoa, succeeded the Cotonou Agreement. It aims to better equip parties to address emerging global challenges such as climate change, ocean governance, migration, health, peace, and security.

Nigeria signed the agreement on June 28, 2024, but it gained public attention this week following Bagudu’s disclosure at a meeting with EU representatives.

Proofreading, editing by Sakinat Musa Abubakar and Jamila Yunusa Suleiman, Editor and Sub- editor at Neptune Prime

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