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By Crusoe Osagie
The Federal Government has announced its readiness to review its existing trade policy to reflect current realities in global trade. Vice Chairman, Enlarged National Focal Point on trade matters responsible for the nation’s international trade policy negotiations and regulation, Prof. Oyejide Ademola, pointed out that Nigeria’s Trade Policy Review at World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Geneva is aimed at giving confidence and assurance to the process of export and import in the country. He made this known in Abuja during the meeting of the Enlarged National Focal Point, comprising of all stakeholders who will represent Nigeria at the forthcoming WTO Trade Policy Review for Nigeria.
Oyejide said that it is important to review and update the trade policy to ensure that a legal institutional framework and strategy, as well as the roles of Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry as the coordinator of the whole process, are mainstreamed.
He added that whatever challenges are being experienced on the current policy would be reviewed to reflect modern reality as trade has been given recognition as central to development.
The Vice-Chairman noted that Nigeria has not built institutional frame work to tackle the problems of dumping, faking and sub-standards goods in line with the laid-down rules and regulations of WTO. According to him, “the legal framework to do the investigation is not yet available”.
Earlier, the Director of Trade, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry Mr David Adejuwon hinted that the 4th WTO trade policy review of Nigeria has been scheduled for June 28-30, 2011 at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland and Nigeria’s delegation would be led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Abubakar Mohammad. He stated that the review meeting in Geneva would be held under the auspices of the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) of the WTO, noting that the Trade Policy Review (TPR) is one of the key functions of the global trade body under the WTO Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM).
The TPRM is a transparency tool that aims at ensuring adherence to all WTO members to rules and disciplines of the Multilateral Trading System (MTS). The review exercise was established in 1989 to provide a platform for collection, evaluation and appreciation of WTO members’ trade policies and practices and their impact on the functioning of the multilateral trading system.
The delegation comprise of stakeholders in the trade sector drawn from the public and private sector such as CBN, NEXIMBank, EFCC, BPE, FIRS, NIPC, PHCN, NEPC, NEPZA, National Planning Commission, NAFDAC, NNPC, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Transport, Finance, Environment and Commerce and Industry as well as Federal Department of Fisheries, OSGF, FRSC and Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Service.