FG vows to invalidate ‘LGBT’ provisions from €150 billion SAMOA deal signed by Nigeria

The federal government of Nigeria has vowed to invalidate any “same-sex”  provisions associated with a  “Samoa Agreement” signed by the European Union, EU Member States and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States including Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and National Orientation gave the update on Thursday night following widespread criticism that greeted the development over Nigerian’s perception of the human rights and gender equality portion of the deal.

The “Samoa Agreement” which was agreed upon on 15th November 2023, prioritizes human rights, democracy and good governance including gender equality and the rule of law.

The SAMOA deal

Notably, the SAMOA deal replaces the Cotonou Agreement adopted in 2000.

The Cotonou agreement promoted cooperation on peace, and security, and helped boost trade relations between the regions through Economic Partnership Agreements.

Through the SAMOA deal, the EU disclosed it will invest at least  €150 billion in Africa by 2027 through the “Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package”.

This includes delivering on 11 strategic corridors – from constructing the Rosso Bridge between Mauritania and Senegal to modernising highways in Kenya, among others.

Media Assistant to the Minister of Budget, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Mr Bolaji Adebiyi insisted that the agreement was purely for economic development and did not mention same sex provisions.

What he tweeted,

The documents signed by the federal government, were strictly for the economic development of Nigeria, nowhere in the documents were LGBT or same sex marriage mentioned even remotely, and it would be wrong for anyone to imply that Nigeria had accepted those tendencies. What Bagudu signed was in relation to a $150 billion trade component. “

FG’s understanding of the SAMOA deal

Providing further clarification of the Samoa agreement, Idris stated it was signed in the economic interest of Nigeria based on the understanding of Nigeria’s representatives.

However, he added that the Nigerian government, prior to signing the agreement, had informed the stakeholders that it would invalidate any part of the agreement that promotes same sex marriage.

He maintained that Nigeria’s law criminalizes same sex.

What he said,

The (Somoa) 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. 

“Nigeria signed the Agreement on Friday 28 June 2024. This was done after extensive reviews and consultations by the Interministerial Committee, convened by the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning (FMBEP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ). It was ensured that none of the 103 Articles and Provisions of the Agreement contravenes the 1999 Constitution as amended or the laws of Nigeria, and other extant Laws.

“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.

“It is instructive to note that there is an existing legislation against same sex relationships in Nigeria enacted in 2014.”

Idris assured Nigerians that the President Bola Tinubu Administration, being a rule-based government will not enter into any international agreement that will be detrimental to the interest of the country and its citizens.

He insisted that 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 the OACPS Member States at the international stage.

Idris is the key spokesperson for the executive branch of the Nigerian federal government.

Nigeria has multiple economic partnerships with several countries and international organizations but the Samoa deal has not gone down well with several Nigerians.

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