It is difficult to answer questions about how Nigeria can and should achieve sustainable economic, social and political growth. This column takes a look at well known development economic theories and applies them to the unique Nigerian context.


Nigeria's Trade Facade

Akinkunmi Akingbade

Akinkunmi Akingbade

Akin is a Consultant and Writer with a background in Development Economics. He previously worked at Ventures Africa.

Every Nigerian entrepreneur dreams of one thing: seeing their products displayed across stores all over the world, patronised by locals and foreigners alike. Popular Hip Hop artist Wizkid captured this desire in the lyric, “my music travel, no visa.”

Unfortunately, for most entrepreneurs, especially of the small and medium variety (SMEs), the export dream remains just that: a dream. Many obstacles hamper the fulfilment of this dream; inadequate infrastructure, high cost of capital, steep access to market, among others.


Easing Trade Flows

To an extent, this pain is shared by entrepreneurs all over the world, an admission the World Trade Organisation (WTO) makes and attempts to rectify by creating the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), an agreement to simplify, modernise and harmonise export, and import processes among member countries. Promisingly, Nigeria ratified the agreement in January 2017.

The WTO projects that the TFA would reduce total trade costs by over 13% across all income groups, simply by streamlining trade flows across borders. The agreement, the first of its kind, is the largest and first multilateral global trade deal in over two decades of the WTO’s existence. It seeks to accelerate the movement, release, and clearance of goods, both at their destination and in transit. Naturally, this requires support from Customs and similar national agencies.

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