By Franklin Alli
The Federal Government plans to lift the ban it placed on 40 items soon. The government, it will be recalled had prohibited the importation of these items to shield local manufacturers and make them competitive.
Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa, while receiving a delegation of Executive Members of Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association
of Nigeria (VEOPAN) led by its Chairman, Chief Okey Ikoro, hinted that Government would soon withdraw protection of local industries except products that are globally banned.
â€œWe must realise the fact that as WTO member we are a signatory to the World Trade Organization treaty and the trend is towards Free Market Access which means we cannot sustain these bans for too long.Â The trend all over the world is to allow goods to flow freely which means in the long run Nigeria will be forced to lift the ban on all commodities except those that are globally prohibited,â€ he said
On the issue of lifting of the ban on importation of palm oil, the Minister explained that it was true that the Government had to lift the ban on importation of crude palm oil and placed a 35 per cent duty on it but the ban on refine vegetable oil remains.
According to the Minister, what this means is that we must now look inward and begin to look at the areas of deficiency and that is why the Government is concerned