The National Association of Nigerian Traders has rejected the Federal Government’s planned negotiation on e-commerce rules with the World Trade Organisation.
The President of NANT, Mr Ken Ukaoha, who made the position of the association known in Abuja, explained that the e-commerce negotiation had many implications that had yet to be examined by Nigeria.
He said NANT was concerned about the process involving Nigeria in various international agreements, especially when the agreements had to do with the subject of trade, which had taken a highly technical dimension in recent times.
Giving 12 reasons why the association was rejecting the planned negotiation, which is expected to be done in Davos, Switzerland on January 25, he said the e-commerce proposals would lead to job losses, exacerbate inequality between countries and push aside developmental agenda that could reduce poverty.
He said, “We are once again seriously concerned about the process of involving Nigeria in various international agreements, especially when these agreements have to do with the subject of trade, which has taken a highly technical dimension in contemporary times.
“The reason is that as nations prepare to meet in Davos, Switzerland on January 25, 2019, for the World Economic Forum, the subject matter of e-commerce would be laid on the discussion table.
“Our fear is that Nigeria and particularly those that made commitments at the 11th World Trade Ministerial Conference on behalf of Nigeria have not till today made any attempt at facilitating dialogue or consultation on the subject matter of e-commerce among economic stakeholders so as to secure a national position that would be canvassed at every given time.
“There is, therefore, the likelihood that the country may be driving deeper into the subject matter of e-commerce either oblivious or careless of the implications on the economic operators and the nation’s economy as a whole.”