An aide to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday attributed “trade politics” amongst nations as one of the reasons why some of the country’s exports were facing challenges in their destination countries.
Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Office of the Vice President, made this known at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.
Dipeolu said that due to international politics, some destination countries opposed the country’s exports because Nigeria had taken a stand on imports from such countries.
He said that in today’s politics, it would be difficult for the present administration to harm its local industries for the benefit of a foreign nation.
The presidential aide said that the present administration would not allow the importation of certain goods in which Nigeria had a comparative advantage.
“For instance, yams said to be grown in a neighbouring country are accepted by most advanced and developing countries, whereas the yams are grown in Nigeria.
“It is all trade politics that will eventually balance out. So, it is better to be self-sufficient in food production than to rely on the importation of such food items,” he said.
He added that it was not advisable for Nigeria to deplete its foreign reserves for food importation as this could make the people to spill over the borders in search of food.
He explained that the federal government had not signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in order to save Nigeria from being a dumping ground for foreign goods.
Dipeolu said that the country needed to carry out due diligence on such agreement to ensure that the agreement would not negatively affect the local industries.
On the issue of power, he said the country’s power generation had reached 8,100 Mega Watts, adding that the government was working on the transmission lines to end epileptic power supply in some parts of the country.
“The way to go is that the government is working on gas and other environmentally friendly means to provide adequate power to the people,” he said.
He told the journalists that the country’s economy was more than N100 trillion, adding that the government alone could not finance the economy, whose growth rate was on the rise.
He urged the private sector to come to the aid of the government to provide an enabling environment for the economy to thrive.