Dear Mr. Emefiele,
RE: NIGERIA’S TRADE POLICY AND RESTRICTIVE TRADE
While congratulating our Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her recent appointment as the 7th Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), we very much welcome your fair trade comments for a strong policy to protect our local industries against unfavourable trade practices and to create jobs for Nigerians.
In the discussions with Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, you referred to trade protection remedies to support local industry. This is brilliant! We also note that the CBN five-year policy plan also supports growing our local industry by discouraging the dumping and smuggling of foreign goods. Trade support for local industries identified rice, maize, cassava, cotton, cocoa, tomato, oil palm, poultry, fish, etc.
As the Minister of Trade and Industry works on a new trade policy, we recommend the institutionalisation of a protective trade regime by enactment of a trade remedies legislation.
Trade remedies legislation imposes anti-dumping duties on dumped products. There is also counter-veiling special duties measures imposed on exports into Nigeria subsidised by a foreign country. The trade remedies legislation will also prohibit imports if it is adjudged that they will cause material injury to local industries, for example by impeding growth.
We call on the CBN to lead a policy discussion to enact legislation to establish the Office of National Trade Negotiator and a Trade Remedies Legislation.
Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), a foremost civil rights advocate, is Principal of Olisa Agbakoba Legal.
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