Senate Calls For Policies To Protect Indigenous Retail Businesses

24 March 2021 by James Itodo

The Senate wants the Federal Government to review the Indigenisation Act, other extant policies to protect indigenous retail businesses in the country.

Senate resolution followed the adoption of a motion on urgent need to investigate the economic and security implication of an unregulated Nigerian retail sector and consider appropriate legislative measures to incentivize and protect indigenous retail traders.

The motion was sponsored by Sen.Ifeanyi Ubah of Anambra state

Ubah in his motion explained that Nigerian retail sector remains unregulated with dire economic and security implications.

He alleged that the Chinese, Indians and Lebanese companies have taken over the retail business from indigenous retailers in markets like Balogun,Trade Fair,ASPAMDA,Alaba, Coker, Computer Village,Dei -Dei market among others .

He said foreign investors had shifted from production and wholesaling to retailing.

He observed that since Independence, Nigerian retail business had been offering employment to Nigerians and providing revenue to government via taxes.

He said many African countries including ECOWAS member states, such as Ghana have a policy and legislative measures in place to offer minimum protection to indigenous retail traders .

He, however, said in Nigeria, extant policies and legal frameworks at both national and sub-regional levels do not offer any minimum protection to indigenous retail business operators.

He said the implication was that the organised retail business in Nigeria made up of multiple branch supermarkets,shopping malls was dominated by foreigners through their popular retail outlets.

He expressed concern that if measures were not taken via enactment of extant protective laws and policies, foreigners may continue to dominate the sector.

The Senate in its further resolutions on the motion called on governments at all levels to put in place acceptable measures to protect traditional or open market retailers to avoid contravention of environmental and health safety standards.

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