• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Trade minister calls for measures to avoid trade injuries, enhance security in Nigeria

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Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo has called for measures to avoid trade injuries and pitfalls as efforts are made to finalize the country’s trade policy.

Adebayo made this call on Tuesday while receiving a draft copy of the revised Trade Policy presented by the Trade Policy of Nigeria Review committee (TPNRC) in Abuja.

Having gone through the draft, the minister expressed satisfaction with the document but asked the committee to make some adjustments which includes specifying measures to avoid and curtail trade injuries and fostering strategies for security.

“I believe security is an important complementing policy for trade because we cannot have optimal trade without security, there is also a need to highlight trade facilitation, especially with respect to customs, airports, sea ports, and transit,” he said.

Adebayo added that International players who are interested in trading with Nigeria will need the reassurance of fairness, hence there is a need to address non-discriminatory aspects of the trade policy.

The minister described the ongoing review of Nigeria’s Trade Policy as one of the legacies of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

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He noted that since the extant trade policy was promulgated in 2002, both Nigeria and the world have witnessed major developments such as the explosion of E-commerce and digital payments, the implementation of the African continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, and the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit).

He mentioned that earlier this year, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that Nigeria recorded a N3.2 trillion trade surplus between January and June, this is an indicator of positive trade balance where exports outweigh imports and in addition the World Bank reports that trade contributes about 34 percent of Nigeria’s GDP.

“While these figures are very encouraging, there is a lot we can do especially with the commencement of trading under the AfCFTA. In order to take advantage of this potential $3.4 trillion market, the first step is to instill confidence in traders through the approval and implementation of an up-to-date trade policy,” he said.

He called on the committee to incorporate his suggestions as part of the stakeholder engagements leading to the finalization of this Policy.

Mike Kwanashie, Chairman, TPNRC, said the review of the trade policy was carried out in accordance with global practices, adding that since the document was put in place in 2002, the economy has witnessed a lot of changes necessitating a review of the document.