The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Foreign Relations and Regional Integration to undertake an appraisal of Nigeria’s membership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over speculation that Morocco will be admitted into the regional body.
The committees were given 12 weeks to report back to the House for further legislative action.
The decision of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion calling for a review of Nigeria’s membership of ECOWAS in view of the clamour to admit Morocco, sponsored by Bosun Oladele and five other members.
The House in stating it’s objection to ECOWAS admitting Morocco into its fold, said the move will be highly detrimental to the growth of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector.
The lawmakers expressed worry over the seeming determination of the regional body to welcome Morocco into ECOWAS despite many objections to the move, coming from Nigeria, a country that has contributed immensely to the peace and stability of the region.
Leading the debate on the motion, Oladele said it was worrisome that the leadership of ECOWAS approved Morocco’s membership in principle, in contravention to its Treaty of 1993, which discourages multiple membership by its members.
The Northern African country which belongs to Arab Maghreb Union applied to join ECOWAS in June.
The lawmaker who reminded members on the need to take a stand as the regional body will make recommendations on Morocco’s application in December, also called for the House to ensure it is well informed on decision to be taken by the federal government over the matter.
He maintained that Nigeria should stand firm on its rejection of the European Union-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and equally resist indirect moves to implement the agreement.
“Since Morocco enjoys non-tariff partnership with the European Union, if admitted into ECOWAS, it will enjoy Free Trade Status and therefore, European goods will inevitably flood the ECOWAS market through Morocco.
“This will adversely affect the production and manufacturing sector of Nigeria and its economy as a whole,” he said.
In a related development, the House expressed dissatisfaction over the deplorable state of Nigerian embassies.
The House therefore mandated the Committee on Foreign Relations to conduct a public hearing to appraise the state of Nigerian embassies.
This followed the adoption of a motion entitled: “Deplorable State of Nigeria’s Foreign Missions and its Consequences on the Nation’s Foreign Policy”, sponsored by Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje and 21 other members. SUNNEWS.