Economic and financial experts have called for a robust policy framework against illicit trade in Nigeria, saying the country loses billions of naira annually.
They argued that the high rate of illicit trades encompassing smuggling and drug trafficking among others poses threat to the economy.
They spoke in Lagos at the Policy Roundtable on “Business Environment and Excise Duty: Maximising Economic opportunities through Effective Anti-Illicit Trade Enforcement” organized by the Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (IPPA).
A Senior Research Fellow with IPPA and lecturer at University of Aberdeen, Scotland, Dr. Damilola Olajide noted that despite the avalanche of illicit trades going on, the country is not listed in the Global Index on Illicit Trade.
According to him, globally, illicit trade accounts for eight to 15 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amounting to over $12trillion.
An industrialist, Dr. John Isemede advised Nigeria to be wary of signing trade pacts with neighbours they are not familiar with, saying, “People are talking about continental free trade when the economy is still very weak. Here in this country, the organized private sector is very weak.”