AN ASSESSMENT OF WTO
RULES AND IMPLICATIONS ON NIGERIAN TRADE
TO THE STUDY
is a middle income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding
financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors. It is
ranked as the 21st largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and
the 20th largest in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. It is the largest economy
in Africa; its re-emergent, though currently underperforming, manufacturing
sector is the third-largest on the continent, and produces a large proportion
of goods and services for the West African sub-region. Nigeria recently changed
its economic analysis to account for rapidly growing contributors to its GDP,
such as telecommunications, banking, and its film industry (Adeleyo, 2002).
trade relations revolve around the oil and natural gas sectors. After the
economic reforms of 2005, the government is making efforts to diversify its
export profile beyond the oil sector, such as minerals and agricultural
products. Oil and natural gas are the most important export products for
Nigerian trade. The country exports approximately 2.327 million barrels per
day, according to the 2007 figures. In terms of total oil exports, Nigeria
ranks 8th in the world. As of 2009, Nigeria has approximately 36.2
billion barrel oil reserves. Prior to oil production, which surged after the
1970s, agricultural production was the largest export sector for Nigeria. After
the country became a largely oil-intensive economy, the agriculture sector took
a back seat. However, it still provides employment to almost 70% of the total
to high international oil prices, Nigeria’s import trade is able to balance
export revenue. According to the 2009 figures, the country's imports grossed
over US$42.1 billion. Machinery, heavy equipments, consumer goods and food
products are the major imports. A large portion of the imports arrive from the
EU, particularly the Netherlands, the UK, France and Germany. China, the US and
South Korea are also major import trade partners.
The abolition/review of many
restrictive businesses and financial regulations and the Nigeria’s membership
of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have enhanced the Nigeria’s position in
multilateral trade system. The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the rules of
trade between nations at a global or near-global level. There are a number of
ways of looking at the WTO. It’s an organization for liberalizing trade
(Weldon, 1999). It’s a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements.
It’s a place for them to settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade
rules (Hart, 1997). Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments
go, to try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other. The first
step is to talk. The WTO was born out of negotiations, and everything the WTO does
is the result of negotiations. The bulk of the WTO’s current work comes from
the 1986–94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round and earlier negotiations
under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is currently
the host to new negotiations, under the “Doha Development Agenda” launched in
2001. Where countries have faced trade barriers and wanted them lowered, the
negotiations have helped to liberalize trade (santos, 2009). But the WTO is not
just about liberalizing trade, and in some circumstances its rules support
maintaining trade barriers — for example to protect consumers or prevent the
spread of disease.however, all these calls for need for the assessment of the
World Trade Organization rules and implications on Nigerian trade.
The WTO agreements are lengthy and
complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities. They
deal with: agriculture, textiles and clothing, banking, telecommunications,
government purchases, industrial standards and product safety, food sanitation
regulations, intellectual property, and much more. But a number of simple,
fundamental principles run throughout all of these documents. These principles
are the foundation of the multilateral trading system (Adeyemi, 1999).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Lowering trade barriers is one of the
most obvious means of encouraging trade. The barriers concerned include customs
duties (or tariffs) and measures such as import bans or quotas that restrict
Since, Nigeria registered the world
trade organization treaty in December 1994, there has been occasional focus on
the economic implication of this treaty for the Nigerian economy. Nigeria
registered the WTO treaty in December 1994 and thus became a funding member of
the organization in January 1995. The researcher is seeking to assess how
Nigerian external trade fared since she became a signatory to the W. T. O. in
1995 and how the adherence to the provisions of the organization affected
non-oil exports and trade liberalization in Nigeria. Although, WTO agreements allow countries
to introduce changes gradually through progressive liberalization. Developing
countries like Nigeria are usually given longer period to fulfill their
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
following are the objectives of this study:
examine the rule of the World Trade Organization.
examine the Implication of World Trade Organization rules on Nigerian trade.
examine the effect of trade liberalization on Nigerian trade.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
are the rules of the World Trade Organization?
are the Implication of World Trade Organization rules on Nigerian trade?
is the effect of trade liberalization on Nigerian trade?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The outcome of this study will further
draw the attention of the government, managers of the economy as well as the
general public to the problems associated with the full liberalization of
trade. It will also assist policy makers in the choice of policy options as it
relates to trade, as issues raised in this study will serve as guide. It will
further enhance the available literatures on the trade dynamics between
developed and developing countries or between centre states and peripheral
states. Finally, it is our hope that the findings of the study will stimulate
further researches in this field which will further expand the understanding of
the position of third world economies in the global trade system.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
study will cover the rules of the World Trade Organization and its implication
on both internal and external trade.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the
efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature
or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire
Time constraint- The researcher will
simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently
will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Larry (1999): “How Nigeria can push for fair Trade at into summit”. The
Guardian Newspaper- November 22nd, 1999. PP. 5859.
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Law, Economics, Public Policy. Vol. 31. No. 5 October 1997. Pp 79 – 82
Olu Adeleyo (2002): “WTO
and the Nigeria Economy” Business Guardian Wednesday August 7th 2002. P. 24
Dos (2009): The crisis of development theory and that of dependence in Latin
American in underdevelopment (ed) by Harry Berustan pengium Books Ltd. 1073. P
Bello (1999): Focus on Trade: The Iron cage: the WTO; the Bretton woods
institution and the South. No. 41. November 1999. P. 1