Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Olisa Agbakoba has urged the federal government to disregard the “liberal and open borders” ideas posited by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) during her recent visit.
According to Agbakoba, Nigeria must, instead, adopt a trade policy that protects its ailing economy.
In a press statement made available to Ripples Nigeria on Saturday evening, Agbakoba noted that while he has huge respect for the DG of WTO, her advise on reopening of the border are ill-timed as it will make the country more import dependent.
His statement reads, “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.
“While we must balance import policy with local production policy, we must heed the warning of wise economists that we cannot develop unless our trade policy is designed to promote local industries.
“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!
“We closed our Benin border to imports and made 12 billion a day internally. 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.
“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.”
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Illegal miners degrade Ekiti community, engage in child labour
The activities of illegal miners in a community in Ekiti State have caused degradation of the environment, as miners engage...
SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the illegal trading of forest woods in Cross River community
“With a N20,000 bribe, an external buyer can influence the youth in host communities , Cross River State, to cut...
SPECIAL REPORT: Enugu govt watches as waste takes over state, threatens public health, environment
In this report, Arinze Chijioke looks at how delays in evacuation of waste in Enugu State encourages indiscriminate waste disposal, its health implications, and how...
INVESTIGATION: NDDC awards N1bn road contract to poultry farm
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in what appears a breach of procurement laws, awarded a contract worth N1.028 billion...
FEATURE… Hard job, low income: Agony of Nigerian commercial drivers
Amid increase in fuel price over the years, coupled with bad roads and insecurity in Nigeria, many commercial drivers have...