Traders in Alaba International Market have appealed to the Federal Government to always carry them along anytime policies bordering on trade are being formulated.
They said that all the time they hear on radio or read in the newspapers of policies that the Federal Government has formulated on how to advance trading ,while the business community are not consulted.
According to them,sometimes the policies are being formulated by civil servants who have no practical knowledge of what is going on in the trading communities around the country and at the end of the day,they would become un-implementable.
Chinedu Ossai, an industrial equipment dealer, said that apart from improvements in banking and technology ,nothing has changed in the Nigerian trading environment.
He said that everyday they hear of new policies on trade ,while the trading communities that the policies are supposed to be made for are not involved in the formulation.
His words: “What the Federal Government is doing is tantamount to shaving our hairs in our absence .You want to formulate policies on trade and the traders who the policies are meant for are left in the dark .You don’t consult them .You don’t carry them along .At the end of the day you bring what a professor in the university who has no knowledge of the nitty gritty of trade has written and try to impose it on us or you go and copy business model from America or Europe which has no bearing on the realities in our country and said that you are doing easy way of doing business ,why you have not first of all sanitized the regulating agencies that are frustrating doing business in Nigeria.”
Contributing ,Isaac Joseph, a solar energy dealer, said that the government is simply wasting time and money by hiring consultants to formulate policies which they know are not implementable.
Joseph noted that Nigeria is a very unique country and as such what works in other climes may not work here.
He said that since it is he who wears the shoes knows where it is pinching him ,before a policy on trade could work in the country ,traders need to be carried along during its formulation.
He also said that days are gone when traders were regarded as bunch of illiterates ,adding that today in Alaba many of the traders have masters degrees.
“You know that there is this age-long mindset that traders are illiterates or people who are not well-educated ,that is why government officials would sit in their offices and formulate anything as policy on trade and try to force it down our throats .Now, tell me ,can the Nigeria Medical Association formulate legal policies? So ,the main reason the policies that they are formulated are not being implemented and even when they try to implement ,it will fail is because hey are done by people who don’t have knowledge of the trading community and as such they cannot give what they don’t have. For instance ,I heard that the current Minister of Trade and Investment is a pastor in the Redeemed Church .If Nigeria is a country where things work ,he should be made Minister of Religious Affairs and certainly not Trade and Investment and I am sure that if you check his retinue of staff ,they would be career civil servants”.