FG plans new trade policy over Russia-Ukraine war

Federal Government, yesterday, disclosed it was working on a new trade policy with the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) countries.

The move came on the heels of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Niyi Adebayo, gave the indication when he appeared as a guest at the weekly Ministerial Chat anchored by the Presidential Communications Team at State House, Abuja.

He said the trade department under his ministry has already been mandated to do a critical analysis of the crisis in the region as its affects trade with Nigeria and submit a report.

The minister said the report would, thereafter, be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval before it is released to the public.

“My ministry is looking at all the issues involved since the war came up. The trade department is looking at what we import and export to them, with a view to coming up with a policy paper,” he explained.

A recent report relying on data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) warned of the impact of the war on Nigeria, even as it showed that since 2019, Nigeria has had $84.3 million in capital imports from Russia.

It also imported from Russia N144 billion ($346.2 million) worth of durum wheat in 2020 and N123.9 billion ($297.8 million) worth of durum wheat between January and September 2021.

Nigeria also imports different types of seafood such as mackerel, herrings, and blue whiting from Russia.

According to the NBS data, Nigeria also imported milk worth N721.5 million ($1.7 million) from Ukraine in 2021.

MEANWHILE, National Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yusuf Sani, said Nigeria could learn a lot from the Communist Party of China (CPC) through partnership.

He stated this while receiving a two-man delegation from the Chinese Embassy, Comrade Wu Baocai and Comrade Zhao Jinshuo, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office at IPAC National Secretariat in Abuja.

Baocai and Jinshuo are representatives of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Chinese Embassy in Abuja.

Sani said: “As Nigeria, inches towards another round of general elections in 2023, the political atmosphere in the country is already, characteristically, charged to a high pitch.

“The emerging signals on the political horizon are clearly demanding a greater level of preparation and strategies on the part of IPAC and other strategic key players in the country’s democracy project.

“At this critical juncture, Nigeria will certainly be needing the robust support usually given by friendly nations to be able to surmount the looming challenges.

“We are in this regard, especially looking towards the People’s Republic of China, through the Chinese Communist Party and other institutions in China that engage in engendering world peace and security in Africa and the rest of the developing countries.”

Leader of the Chinese delegation, Baocai, said the CPC decided to open an office in the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, given Nigeria’s growing importance in world affairs and the need to deepen political ties.

He assured Nigeria of support in the sustenance of collaborative democracy through economic prosperity, technological advancements and security.(The Guardian)

•PHOTO: Niyi Adebayo