The federal government has revealed that it is set to update Nigeria’s trade policy to improve the country’s access to regional markets for the effective implementation of the African Continental Trade Agreement (AfCFTA ).
President Muhammadu Buhari revealed this in Lagos during the opening ceremony of the Lagos International Trade Fair 2021 (LITF), hosted by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
He also revealed that Nigeria had registered $ 10.1 billion in foreign investment announcements in the first half of 2021.
Buhari, who was represented by Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Niyi Adebayo, said the updated trade policy would improve the country’s current economic realities.
He said: âOne of the main policy directions we are taking to facilitate trade and market access is the imminent review of Nigeria’s trade policy.
âIts review will underline our current economic realities and our aspiration to further facilitate trade and access to local and regional markets, particularly with the advent of the implementation of the AfCFTA. “
He added that âthe fully revised version of the trade policy will incorporate important strategies to alleviate concerns of traders, such as infrastructure bottlenecks and weak domestic demand for ‘Made in Nigeria’ products. It will also strengthen national value chains, especially in the agro-industry sector.
âAs a government, recognize the role governments must play in maintaining confidence in broad cross-border and international trade and investment. “
The President also noted that Nigeria is rebounding strongly from the 2020 setback caused by the adverse effects of COVID-19, as the country has seen a more than 100% increase in foreign investment announcements.
He said: â2020 has been a difficult year for all economies, but Nigeria is coming back strong. In the first half of this year, investment announcements stood at $ 10.1 billion, a 100% increase from 2020. Investors from Europe, CHINA, Morocco and the UK make firm commitments and this administration works tirelessly to ensure that these commitments turn into projects that positively affect our nation.
Buhari pleaded with Nigerians to prioritize locally made products.
âIt is in this regard that our government signed Decree 003 in 2017 and several campaigns have been launched to create the necessary awareness and momentum. I want to use this medium to call for collaboration between various agencies of the federal government and the state government to this end.
âThe society of all of us as patriotic Nigerians as well as that of our friends and partners around the world will be necessary to achieve our goals,â he said.
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the importance of the trade fair cannot be overstated, especially its impact on small and medium-sized companies and the opportunity it offers to companies to network.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Lagos State Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Ms. Lola Akande, said: âI want to let you know that we are doing everything in our power. as a state to secure the traditional site of the Federal Government’s Trade Fair Complex and also ensure the increase in economic activities of our beloved state.
LCCI President Ms. Toki Mabogunje said the theme of this year’s international fair is âConnecting Businesses, Creating Valueâ.
She said, âThis theme highlights the importance of relationships and networking between businesses in order to build wealth. The theme also highlights the value of interactions between producers and service providers and end users. This is the cardinal objective of the Salon.
âThe LCCI has recognized the imperative of non-oil sector development and the need to add value to our primary products in order to improve the incomes of the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy. This fair provides a platform to identify non-oil alternatives and highlights the importance of adding value. The show also serves as a lever to boost economic and commercial activities.