By Jonah Nwokpoku
Traders under the auspices of Traders’ Rights Protection Initiative have decried the negative impact resulting from increasing influx of foreigners and their goods into Nigerian markets.
The association made this known through its National Coordination, Comrade Christopher Okpala, who spoke to news men at a Business Award organized by the association in Lagos.
He said traders in the country have continued to face several challenges ranging from unfavourable import policies to multiple taxations and presently has to contend with unbridled invasion of the local markets by foreigners who are in desperate need of viable markets.
According to him, “The challenges traders face are enormous, from bad import policies to local and state government’s multiple taxations and then market invasion. This is because, presently we found there has been steady foreign incursion on the Nigerian local markets and I am surprised that policy-makers see this is as good development but it is not.
“Let me give an instance with Shoprite, I hear they will develop 700 outlets in Lagos alone, but then nobody has cared to ask what government is doing to empower all the small scale businesses to make sure they survive because if Shoprite should open 700 outlets, so many of these small businesses would be forced to shut down and the owners thrown into the labour market.
and of course that is not what we want at this time as a country.
“So this is what some of our policy makers do not consider, they think that stifling the trading community is part of pursuing development agenda. So I think they should come out with well spelt out policies and articulate plans to empower traders because they contribute so much to the nation’s economy.”