Agbakoba proposes Trade Remedies Law to protect local industry…Urges CBN to drive process
Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association NBA, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN has proposed the enactment of Trade Remedies Law as part of Federal Government’s efforts to protect the local industry by checking high influx of foreign made goods, many of which are believed to be substandard or fake.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria noted that there is urgent need to institutionalise a trade protective trade regime, which could only be achieved by the enactment of the new legislation.
In a letter addressed to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Godwin Emefiele, dated March 17, which was in reaction to some trade policy proposals by Director-General of the World Trade Organisation WTO, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during her working visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday in Abuja, Dr. Agbakoba said there was urgent need for a strong policy to protect local industries against unfavourable trade practices and to create jobs for Nigerians.
According to him, the proposed legislation should impose anti-dumping duty on dumped products while counter-veiling special duty measures should also be imposed on exports into Nigeria subsidised by a foreign country.
He also proposes that the trade remedies legislation will prohibit imports if it is adjudged that they will cause material injury to local industries, for instance by impeding growth.
He therefore called on the CBN to lead a policy discussion to enact the legislation to establish the Office of National Trade Negotiator and a Trade Remedies Legislation.
The letter reads in part: “While congratulating our Okonjo-Iweala on her recent appointment as seventh DG of the WTO, we very much welcome her 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 the WTO DG, you referred to trade protection remedies to support local industry. This is brilliant! We also note that the CBN’s five-year policy plan also supports growing our local industry by discouraging 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”.