Mr. Dele Oye the 1st Deputy President NACCIMA was on The Portfolio to talk about Nigeria’s trade deficit and the way forward.
He talked about the issues of negative balance of trade in Nigeria.
Some of the issues he mentioned are;
- quest for foreign goods and services and low production locally
- covid pandemic which has restricted some activities
- inadequate infrastructure
- access to various markets where in this case most of the products we have access to are the rejected products in foreign markets
- apapa gridlock because the inability to access the port means that goods won’t be exported
He went on to talk about how the government needs to involve the private sectors especially during policy conception and not only during implementation, that way problems of trade can be identified and policies can be put in place to solve those problems and this would enhance the balance of trade.
He said Nigeria has a lot of problems causing our inability to produce locally, problems like infrastructure, security, and most importantly policy inconsistency. Minimizing these problems would make us establish ourselves fully and play further as a dominant factor in the African market.
He thanked the government for involving NACCIMA in various committees, policy conception, and implementation. He urged the National Assembly to adopt legislation agreement as a law so that we can move faster.
Nigeria has a deficit in trade based on the figures of the second quarter which showed 1.8 trillion naira and to improve this we need to reduce our quest for foreign goods and look for a local substitute, the government also need to put a policy in place to protect some industries through tariff measures when those industries feel that they have achieved the optimal. The tariff can be used to discourage the impulse of those goods which already have some level of comfort in Nigeria.
To discourage dumping and encourage conserving our foreign exchange, the government has to take the private sector into confidence, he reiterated that the government has to involve the private sector not just in policy implementation but also in policy conception. He said NACCIMA is happy with the ministry of trade as the Minister is working closely with them in every aspect of these things and makes them ever ready to support the government.
The AFCFTA has rules of origin that if implemented properly by the Nigerian customs would make it very difficult for anyone to bring in dumped goods to Nigeria. Everyone has to be involved, from the customs officers to the standard organization and the National assembly who has to domesticate the law so that all can move forward and take advantage of the Africa free trade agreement.
As a member of the council of standards of organization, he said one of the huge challenges they have is quality. NACCIMA always finds a way to broaden various aspects of trades and are catalysts of growth. Members of NACCIMA are also encouraged to invest in these areas and take full advantage of ECOWAS and AFCTA to expand their capacity. Nigerian goods and services that are informalized are all over the place and this causes a whole lot of problems and support cannot be provided to these informal industries. NACCIMA helps its members formalize products and this allows for revenues coming in terms of customs duties, tax revenues, and deeds.
NACCIMA also helps its members expand their production base by encouraging them to go into new areas, this is one of the reasons the NACCIMA diplomatic launch was done recently so that they could tap into foreign opportunities. Foreign direct investments are needed and NACCIMA has encouraged its members in foreign countries that Nigeria is safe to invest in and there are able and honest businessmen ready to be partnered with.
NACCIMA has ethics put in place to punish members caught engaging in corrupt activities, members are encouraged to abide by these ethics as most businesses are sustained based on them.
Having a more determined focus would greatly improve and move Nigeria’s trade forward. We need to have a sustained and consistent policy, give people hope, provide good infrastructure and security.
NACCIMA is in 63 locations in Nigeria, they are in every city and state and also have the women and youth wing in the 63 chambers, which means the government can put policies that will hit every state, every major town in Nigeria through NACCIMA and NACCIMA is open-handed and readily available to help the government achieve this.
Watch the full interview below.