Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), on Wednesday wrote to Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the nation’s trade policy and restrictive commerce.
The maritime lawyer and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) referred to Emefiele’s discussion with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The CBN chief reiterated the federal government’s resolution for a strong policy to protect local industries against unfavourable trade practices and to create jobs for Nigerians.
Agbakoba highlighted the CBN’s 5-year policy plan which discourages dumping and smuggling of foreign goods.
The trade support for local industries identified rice, maize, cassava, cotton, cocoa, tomato, oil palm, poultry, fish, among others.
In his letter, Agbakoba said as the Minister of Trade and Industry works on a new trade policy, there must be the institutionalization of a protective trade regime by the enactment of a Trade remedies legislation.
The legislation imposes anti-dumping duties on dumped products. There is also a counter-veiling special duties measures imposed on exports into Nigeria subsidized by a foreign country.
In his recommendation, the SAN noted that the trade remedies legislation will also prohibit imports if it is adjudged that they will cause material injury to local industries.
“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”, the letter added.