A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, says Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s advice for Nigeria to adopt a liberal trade policy will make the country import dependent.
Agbakoba was reacting to a suggestion by the Director -General of WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that Nigeria should promote a liberal trade policy by opening her borders
In a statement, Dr Agbakoba said Nigeria currently had no Trade policy, and that adopting a liberal trade policy now would make Nigeria to depend on imported products which would render her incapable of developing her economy and unable to generate employment opportunities for the teeming population.
He said while the country must balance import policy with local production, it was important to heed to the warning of some economists that Nigeria could not develop until a trade policy was designed to promote local industries.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria cited the example of former US President Donald Trump, whom he said, understood the need to protect the US economy by discouraging over dependence on imports.
Agbakoba said it was as a result of the closure of Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic against importation of rice that Nigeria earned N12 billion daily from locally produced rice.
According to Agbakoba, what Nigeria needed now is a new trade policy with strong trade laws to protect her ailing economy and promote made-in- Nigeria goods.