Samoa agreement not detrimental to Nigeria’s interest – FG

The federal government Thursday assured Nigerians that the $150 billion Samoa Agreement which the country signed on June 28, 2024 at the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium was in the best interest of the country.

The agreement has been mired in controversy as reports claimed it included clauses that require underdeveloped and developing nations to support LGBTQ rights as a condition for receiving financial and other forms of support from advanced countries.

Minister of information and national orientation Alhaji Mohammed Idris, who disclosed this in a statement said, said that the administration of President Bola Tinubu would not enter into any international agreement that would be detrimental to the interest of the country and its citizens.

According to him, in negotiating the agreement, our officials strictly followed the mandates exchanged in 2018 between the EU and the OACPS for the process.

“The Samoa Agreement is nothing but a vital legal framework for cooperation between the OACPS and the European Union, to promote sustainable development, fight climate change and its effects, generate investment opportunities, and foster collaboration among OACPS Member States at the international stage,” he said .

The minister said the partnership agreement was between the EU and its Member States, on one hand, and the members of the OACPS on the other.

The minister said negotiations on the agreement started in 2018, on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly and was signed in Apia, Samoa on November 15, 2018 by all 27 EU Member states and 47 of the 79 OACPS Member states.

“The agreement has 103 articles comprising a common foundational compact and three regional protocols, namely: Africa –EU; Caribbean-EU, and Pacific-EU Regional Protocols with each regional protocol addressing the peculiar issues of the regions.

“The African Regional Protocol consists of two parts. The first is the Framework for Cooperation, while the second deals with Areas of Cooperation, containing Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth and Development; Human and Social Development; Environment, Natural Resources Management, and Climate Change; Peace and Security; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance; and Migration and Mobility,” he said.

He added that Nigeria signed the Agreement on June 28, 2024 after extensive reviews and consultations by the Inter-ministerial Committee, convened by the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning (FMBEP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ), confirmed that none of the 103 Articles and Provisions of the Agreement contravened the 1999 Constitution as amended or laws of Nigeria.

“In addition, Nigeria’s endorsement was accompanied by a Statement of Declaration, dated 26th June 2024, clarifying its understanding and context of the Agreement within its jurisdiction to the effect that any provision that is inconsistent with the laws of Nigeria shall be invalid.

“The Samoa Agreement is nothing else, but a vital legal framework for cooperation between the OACPS and the European Union, to promote sustainable development, fight climate change and its effects, generate investment opportunities, and foster collaboration among OACPS Member States at the international stage,” the minister said.