Lagos – A labour leader, Mr Issa Aremu, told the Federal Government on Monday to review various trade agreements entered into by Nigeria in the past 15 years.
He said the review was to prevent dumping of goods into Nigeria’s recession-hit economy.
Aremu, General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, some of the agreements have promoted dumping of sub-standard goods, closure of factories and destruction of local jobs.
“We should review the agreements in the light of the effort to rebuild the nation’s economy.’’
The unionist was reacting to government’s plan to review Nigeria’s trade policy.
“We are not opposing trade but you must be a trading country first to enter into an agreement with the World Trade Organisation. What are we trading on, nothing?
“We are not even producing for domestic market not to talk of exporting. We should not be eager to sign trade deals that are inimical to economic development.
“ This is because some of these agreements are injurious to workers. Let us put Nigeria first and get our priorities right.’’
Aremu, however, advised government to ensure that the country became first a productive economy that should be able to produce for its domestic market.
NAN reports that Amb. Chiedu Osakwe, Trade Advisor to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Chief Trade Negotiator for Nigeria had said that government would soon commence the review of Nigeria’s trade policy.
Osakwe, who stated this on Jan. 11, said that the review would be done to discourage dumping of sub-standard products and promote the economic diversification efforts of government.
The review if carried out would mark the first review of the policy since 2002 when it was formulated.