Unilorin Prof Blames Nigeria’s Economic Woes On WTO Membership

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By; BILQIS ONAOLAPO OLAJUMOKE, Ilorin

A professor with  the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law of the University of Ilorin, 

 Joshua Olatoke, SAN,   has faulted Nigeria’s membership of the  World Trade Organisation (WTO), attributing it to   unrestrained imports at expense of local market and domestic production.
Olatoke stated this in Ilorin during his paper presentation at the 247th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ilorin titled, “Africa in the Global Economic Trade Law Conundrum”.
He said that the negative trend has led to a weaker Naira that is being  witnessed in Nigeria, while local industries barely thrive.
“Nigerian manufacturers now operate under extreme odds and can hardly expand or create employment.
“The cumulative result had been a fragile economy which is unproductive and lacks energy to face global market competition,” he said.
The don who lectures in the Faculty of Law of the university, lamented that the genesis of Nigeria’s problem in the politics and policies of the WTO is that, the country signed the agreement without negotiating.
“Thus, any country of the world can easily ferry thier goods and dump same in Nigeria. 
“On the contrary, countries like India and China joined only after insisting on and securing concessions that 214 and 130 items would not be exported into thier countries,” he said.
The law expert observed that the negative effects of dumping goods is that developed countries dictate the price of Nigeria’s manufactured goods.
He stated that consequently, the economy is  run to sustain jobs in those countries from where it imports, while the economy is plagued by the problems.
Olatoke advised that the only way by which the Nigerian government is presently pursuing dumping is through the ban on importation of selected goods through the Nigerian Custom Service (NCS).
He stated that developing countries must be be protected by law and legal institutions with a view to redressing the imbalance in the trade relationship.
According to him, “it will be of great importance for African continent to look within and have its own unified monetary system.
He argued that this would reduce Africa’s undue dependence on the economy of European world.

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