Johnathan Aremu, Professor of Economics and Development Studies, Covenant University, Ota, on Saturday advised Federal Government to review its trade policies to boost economic development.
Aremu gave the advice during the University’s 20th Inaugural Lecture titled, “Sequencing and Negotiating Nigeria’s Regional and International Trade Agreements,” in Ota, Ogun.
He said that the review of the country’s trade policy became necessary to boost the economic well-being of its citizens.
“Nigeria urgently requires a good trade policy that will go beyond the traditional focus on tariffs and quantitative restrictions and changes in relative prices.
“We need policy that will create opportunities for the development of private sector and capture the deeper transformational and production issues in the economy,” he said.
Aremu stressed the need for the country to develop and improve human, technical, financial and physical infrastructural resources to have sufficient capacity at the various negotiation levels so as to benefit from the regional and international trade agreements.
He noted that Nigeria, like many developing countries, would continue to face challenges and resources limitations towards developing negotiations capacity for effective substantive participation in trade negotiations.
Aremu, however, said the nation required well-organized and coordinated institutional mechanism that could provide negotiating experience and negotiating tactics on policy research and support for appropriate negotiations strategy.
He also said that Nigeria’s trade policy was expected to address the critical issues facing the country as highlighted in the National Economic Recovery Growth Plan (NERGP).
The Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Prof. Aderemi Atayero, said that the internal weakness in domestic economy like Nigeria could make a country disadvantaged in the multinational trade agreement.
Atayero said that development in international environment offered substantial opportunities for the achievement of National Macro-economic policy objectives when properly exploited.
“Considering the roles of international trade in the process of economic development as it became vital for Nigeria to review its existence trade policies to align to current regional and international trade realities,” he said.
In his remark, Dr David Oyedepo, the Chancellor of the institution, said that the nation had not developed well due to lack of capacity, courage and character on the part of its leadership.
Oyedepo said there was need for the country to improve on its capacity building by training people so that the nation could quickly respond to any trade opportunities in the international market.