Nigeria’s Ministers for Finance, Kemi Adeosun and Trade and Investment, Udo Udoma were reportedly close to being sacked by President Muhamadu Buhari for strongly disagreeing with terms of the commercial and trade agreement signed between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
According to a report by Sahara Reporters, there was fierce disagreement by the pair over the provisions of several of the treaties President Buhari planned on signing with the UAE.
It would be recalled the President Buhari had met with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Al Nah Yan, the Crown Prince of the UAE, to discuss financial and political issues and to sign six bilateral agreements, which focused on four judicial issues: extraditing criminals in the UAE to Nigeria, the transfer of incarcerated and sentenced persons, mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, and mutual assistance on civil and commercial issues.
Before the signing of the agreement , the Senior Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said that: “Nigeria also expects to get more support from the UAE for its war against terrorism and the recovery of Nigeria’s stolen funds.”
According to Sahara Reporters, the commercial and trade agreements signed by Buhari did not represent Nigeria’s best interests, prompting Adeosun and Udoma to voice their discontent.
A source revealed that the President was not interested in listening to the pair as “Mr. President was focused on doing whatever was necessary to repatriate stolen funds and extradite criminals hiding in the UAE. He was so concerned about that sole issue that he became incensed about the warning from some members of his team.”
Speaking further, the source said Buhari enthused that he was ready to fire bAdeosun and Udoma if the refused to support the terms of the agreement.
Another source also said that although the two ministers understood the importance of President Buhari’s goals as regards the agreement, they felt that he gave away too much in terms of its bilateral economic interests.