The director-general of the Nigeria office for trade negotiations, Chiedu Osakwe, has said that the agency will embark on a review of all trade and investment agreements entered into with countries and entities since 1960.
Osakwe, who made this known in an interview with BusinessDay, said the aim of the review is to update and modernise such agreements.
He said: “The review focuses on all our trade and investment agreements from 1960 till date.”
“It also dwells on reviews of all the memoranda of understanding that we have had on trade and investments; so that we can update, modernise them. It would also enable us to be sure that they carry net benefits for the Nigerian economy, in terms of improved dynamics, and also in terms of job creation.”
It is understood that since the last decade, Nigeria has entered into well over 550 trade agreements and signed more than 100 trade policies.
This has led to calls for the West African country to review its trade agreements and policies with concerns that over the years, they have not really yielded gains but have rather worked to the country’s disadvantage.
Speaking further, the DG said the office is allocating responsibilities to its staff after which the review will commence.
Osakwe continued: “We have to be certain that investments in the Nigerian market provide a spur to the global market in partnerships with Nigerian producers and industrialists.”
“In subsequent MoUs and trade agreements, we have to be certain that there are calculable benefits for jobs and creation of massive employment opportunities for growth, in ways that are connected to value chains.
“After the decision by the federal executive council on May 10, the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiation was established, we are just putting up the physical office this week, and the staffers are settling into their offices. For now, we are working out agenda, writing up job descriptions, allocating responsibilities, after which we commence.”