Bola Olajuwon and Charles Okonji
THE Federal Government has vowed that it would no longer allow smuggling and other predatory trade practices to continue unchecked.
It stated that such negative acts undermine the Nigerian economic development efforts and destroys local industries, leading to job losses.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, who was represented by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, gave the government’s position at the National African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Forum on Effective Implementation for Industrialisation and Inclusive Development of Nigeria.
The forum is being co-organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the European Union, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC).
Adebayo said: “We also will not allow rogue traders to manipulate the rules of origin and disguise goods from outside the continent as made in Africa so as to qualify for duty free passage. For a successful implementation of AfCFTA, the Federal Government has constituted a National Action Committee to among others, coordinate a wide range of actions at the domestic, regional and continental levels.”
He noted that at the regional and continental levels, the National Action Committee shall coordinate relevant bodies to champion programmes to resolve critical challenges.
The minister added that trade policy harmonisation with neighbours and ECOWAS member states, smuggling and abuse of rules of origin, growing regional production capacity and value chains, and enforcing our borders and trade rules would be addressed.