The Federal Government has confirmed the signing of the Samoa Agreement, while asserting that Nigeria’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage remains supreme over any clauses within the agreement.


The Samoa Agreement, named after the Pacific island where it was signed, includes provisions that encourage underdeveloped and developing nations to support LGBT rights as a condition for receiving financial and other assistance from developed countries. Despite gaining traction, the agreement has faced opposition from many countries with strong Islamic and Christian values, as well as sensitive cultural norms.


The agreement has sparked controversy, drawing criticism from clerics and human rights activists. In response, Minister of Information Mohammed Idris issued a statement on Thursday night to clarify the government's position.


“On June 28, 2024, Nigeria signed the Samoa Agreement at the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium. The partnership agreement is between the EU and its Member States on one side, and the OACPS members on the other,” Idris stated.


He detailed the agreement's history, noting that negotiations began in 2018 during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. The agreement, initially signed in Apia, Samoa, on November 15, 2018, includes 103 articles and three regional protocols—Africa-EU, Caribbean-EU, and Pacific-EU—each addressing specific regional issues.


The African Regional Protocol comprises two parts: a Framework for Cooperation and Areas of Cooperation, covering inclusive and sustainable economic growth, human and social development, environmental management, peace and security, human rights, governance, and migration.


Idris emphasized that Nigeria’s endorsement came after extensive reviews by an interministerial committee. “It was ensured that none of the 103 Articles and Provisions of the Agreement contravene the 1999 Constitution as amended or other extant laws of Nigeria,” he said.


Nigeria’s endorsement included a Statement of Declaration, clarifying that any inconsistent provisions with Nigerian laws would be invalid. Idris reiterated that Nigeria's 2014 legislation against same-sex relationships remains in effect.


“It is necessary to assure Nigerians that the President Bola Tinubu Administration, being a rule-based government, will not enter into any international agreement detrimental to the country’s interests. The Samoa Agreement is a vital legal framework for cooperation between the OACPS and the European Union to promote sustainable development, fight climate change, generate investment opportunities, and foster international collaboration,” Idris concluded.

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