Agbakoba reiterates stance on Nigeria’s international trade in major disagreement with new WTO DG
Maritime lawyer and Lead Partner at Olisa Agbakoba Legal, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, has reiterated his stance that Nigeria needs a ‘Made-in-Nigeria’ Trade Policy to achieve its desired economic transformation, and not to remain import-dependent.
Agbakoba who earlier made the argument in this interview See here faulted the promotion of a liberal and open borders trade approach by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
He said: “My admiration for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is huge but to advice us to continue to be import dependent is not correct policy advice at this time.
“Nigeria has no current Trade policy and Dr Okonjo Iweala seems to promote liberal and open borders. The problem is that we will remain consumers of imported products and cannot develop our economy to boost production and give jobs to the over 25 million unemployed.
“Nigerians be wise. We must support MADE IN NIGERIA. I propose we adopt a new trade policy with strong trade laws to protect our ailing economy. Nigeria will be transformed by a Made in Nigeria Trade Policy.”
According to Agbakoba, Nigeria should heed the warning of wise economists that the nation must design its trade policy to promote local industries or remain undeveloped.
He added that “I hesitate to compliment Trump’s America First trade policy but, Trump understood the need to protect the US by discouraging over dependence on imports.
“Nigeria produces crude but imports petrol. We produce cocoa but import cocoa powder. We have Tin, Gold and Iron but import the finished products in billions!”
Agbakoba made reference to the fact that Nigeria was generated N12 billion in a day, when the nation’s border to Benin Republic was closed.
He argued in favour that “It was a strong trade policy to produce rice locally that has made us near self -sufficient. Now, we are growing tomato, corn, beans, etc because we are discouraging imports.”