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Review of Nigeria's Trade Policy Begins

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Review of Nigeria's Trade Policy Begins

By Crusoe Osagie


The Federal Government yesterday said it has commenced the review of the country’s trade policy in line with its commitment to creating a friendly environment for business and investment.

The new policy is expected to be launched in the country in January 2012 after President Goodluck Jonathan’s approval.

The review began with the inauguration of a 23-man technical review committee, which has been given three months to submit its report.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this during the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, explained that the country required a sound trade policy that would be business and investment-friendly in order to attract substantial local and foreign investment, and increase its share of the global trade in the next four years.

Aganga said some of the existing trade rules and regulations in the country were outdated, arguing that, that often resulted to conflicting approach in implementation.

“Currently, Nigeria does not have a comprehensive and coherent trade policy framework to adequately govern and guide the nation on domestic and international trade in view of the dynamism of the global market environment. Some of the existing trade rules, regulations and practices are outdated and applied haphazardly, thus resulting in the ad hoc and sometimes conflicting approach to implementation,” Aganga said.

The minister maintained that the new trade policy would also address the shortcomings as well as map out the strategies for addressing the various trade imbalances in the country. According to him, it would also guide the monitoring and evaluation of the various trade agreements and initiatives the government was involved in.

According to the minister, Nigeria aims to attract N15tn private sector investment, aimed at creating jobs and wealth, and the only way to make that happen is to create a good environment for businesses to thrive.

He said: “The members of the review committee were carefully chosen, bearing in mind the important roles their organisations could play in steering the review exercise. There is a balanced and broad representation from the public and private sector, academia and civil society organisations, among  others. The committee has been charged to analyse past and current trade and industrial reforms, identify specific gaps that must be addressed, including why previous review exercises had not achieved the desired results; and identify sectors where the country has the potential and strength to excel in export trade.

“It will also conduct in-depth national and regional assessment on trade sector capacities and potential competitive advantages, map out effective measures aimed at harmonising legislation on trade facilitation and other trade and investment-related issues; and come up with a comprehensive package that will stimulate investment in infrastructure.”

Aganga also charged the committee to present a draft trade policy by the end of November 2011, as well as an executive summary of key issues for consideration of the enlarged National Focal Point.

The trade policy review committee will be headed by Prof. Ade Oyejide of the University of Ibadan. Other members are Prof. Mike Kwanashie of the Ahmadu Bello University, Consultant to Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Investment, Dr. Jonathan Aremu, Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr. John Isemede and Chief Economic Adviser to the President.

Others are Mr. Rasheed Adegbenro (Manufacturers Association of Nigeria), Prof. K.S. Adeyemi of Covenant University, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the ministries of Finance and Agriculture, among others. - Nigerian news, headline news, naija, Nigeria, West Africa

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Updated 7 Years ago

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