The Federal Government has signed an agreement with leading trade law firm, King and Spalding, LLP Geneva, Switzerland to provide legal services for Nigeria’s trade remedy legislation as a key element of modern trade policy.
Ms Constance Ikokwu, Strategy and Communications Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.
The agreement was signed in Geneva by Chief Negotiator and Director-General of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe for Nigeria, while Mr Daniel Crosby stood for King and Spalding.
Osakwe said “the firm is expected to support the drafting of Nigeria’s trade remedy law and prepare a legal brief on the rationale and requirements for the legislation, which will effectively stop dumping on the Nigerian market.
“The firm’s services are on a pro bono basis.’’
Pro bono is short term for the Latin “pro bono publico’’, which means “for the public good’’.
The term generally refers to free services that a professional provides to poverty-stricken clients, non-profit groups or charitable organisations.
According to him, Nigeria has been grappling unsuccessfully with increased cases of dumping and other injurious imports in the economy.
He added that the government was determined to support local manufacturers and service providers to competitively grow the economy through integration to global value chains in a rule-based global economy.
Osakwe said “dumping in the Nigerian market is illegal and against anti-development.
“The legal services and technical support to be provided by King and Spalding is a major step forward to definitively stop this illegal practice and alarming increase of dumping in the Nigerian economy.”
He commended the firm for its pro bono support and called for a technically solid partnership to establish a rules-based trade remedy infrastructure for Nigeria in 2018.
Crosby said that the Federal Government is committed to economic and social development, while as well nurturing local businesses and industries.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to collaborate on a pro bono basis with NOTN to help establish a WTO-consistent trade remedies system that will promote free and fair trade.
“It will also help in protecting local entrepreneurs and keeping the country competitive as it integrates further into global markets,’’ he said.