Adebayo stated that the major objectives of Nigeria’s Trade Policy were first articulated in a document in 1989 under the defunct Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) but later revised in 2002. Since then, it has not been reviewed or revised.
“So today, we have begun a new phase in the ongoing efforts by the Ministry to review and update the National Trade Policy of Nigeria 2002, to ensure that the new trade policy framework reflects the very dramatic changes that have taken place in the global trade and economic policy landscape, especially the 2008/2009 global financial and economic crises, as well as the current health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the minister said.
According to him, all the developments have greatly affected the way we produce and trade, including the evolution of global production networks and global value chains and it is, therefore, the firm commitment of the Ministry that Nigeria has strategically responded to these global trends, to promote and sustain its trade performance.
“It is also the Ministry’s expectation that the updated Trade Policy of Nigeria document will effectively capture the nine core policy priorities of the recently launched Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025,” Adebayo stressed.
The Minister listed the priorities to include building a thriving and sustainable economy; enlarging agricultural output for food security; attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products and expanding transport and other infrastructure development.
He said others are expanded business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialization; improved access to quality education, affordable health care and productivity; enhancement of social inclusion and reduction of poverty; building systems to fight corruption, improvement in governance and the creation of national cohesion; and improvement of security for all. “Under these circumstances, it is important for us to ensure that the new Trade Policy of Nigeria is not only consistent with international best practices to enhance productivity and competitiveness, but also fully takes into account the realities of the national economy in the 21st Century,” he emphasized.
Adebayo noted that all national trade policy frameworks need to explicitly address all aspects of development, including sustainable development and holistically provide opportunities for creating wealth through income generation and distribution, increase employment and competitiveness, as well as economic and social well-being “This is more so as trade has been central to ending global poverty; and continues to contribute to the economic growth and development of all economies, big or small,” he pointed out.