The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, on Thursday noted that the high cost of goods has been responsible for Nigeria being a dumping ground for goods from African countries and beyond.
Speaking during debate on a motion on “Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA)”, which was sponsored by Senator Jibrin Barau representing Kano North Senatorial district, he noted that manufacturing companies prefer other West African countries than Nigeria for business purposes.
Kalu identified the lack of power and insecurity as reasons, manufacturing companies migrate to other West African countries, insisting that the Federal Government has what it takes to put infrastructure in place.
“There must security and power because without this, Nigeria would remain a dumping ground for goods from African countries.
“The manufacturing costs in Nigeria is heavy and government which signs trade agreement must put in place infrastructure that support local manufacturers,” he said.
Senator Ibukunle Amosun representing Ogun Central Senatorial district in his contribution to the debate, said Nigeria’s trade volumes stood at $1.2 billion.
“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, our trade volumes stands at $1.2 billion and that is a huge market that should be taken seriously,” he said.
Amosun further argued that micro businesses in Nigeria must be supported by government to give them power to compete, saying that this would make the economy strong.
“What we should do is to strengthen our micro business and consciously helping them. I am happy that this was delayed.
“I remember when Morocco was to go into trade agreement with Nigeria, NACCIMA and other business owners decried because of fears of making Nigeria a dumping ground,” he said.