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National Council On Industry To Ensure Highest Standards In Production Of Agro-Commodities Exports

The 14th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment (14th NCITI) with the theme “Strengthening Industry, Trade and Investment Sector in Promoting Development in the Country” has ended with a resolution by members to ensure the highest standards in the production, processing, and packaging of Agro-Commodities exports.

The move would help Nigeria to maintain optimum competitiveness in line with global best practices;

The Council also  agreed to ensure effective coordination of the activities of MSMEs for better impact on the AfCTA in the export of Nigerian products and services within the African Continent.

These are some of the highpoints of a communique issued at the end of the meeting. The communique is reproduced thus:

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 14TH MEETING OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDUSTRY, TRADE AND INVESTMENT (14TH NCITI), HELD FROM MONDAY 7TH TO FRIDAY 11TH NOVEMBER, 2022 AT THE COMMAND GUEST INN, BAUCHI, BAUCHI STATE.

  1. INTRODUCTION

1.1       The 14th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment (14th NCITI) with the theme “Strengthening Industry, Trade and Investment Sector in Promoting Development in the Country” held physically and virtually from Monday 7th to Friday 11th November 2022 at the Command Guest Inn, Bauchi, Bauchi State. The Meeting was declared open by His Excellency, Senator Bala Abdukadir Mohammed, Kauran Bauchi, Executive Governor, Bauchi State. The Governor, in his opening remarks, commended the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) for the sustained efforts to promote national development by providing policy guidance and incentivizing the Industry, Trade and Investment Sector to encourage industrialization and increase investment in the national economy for employment generation and wealth creation. The opening address was delivered by Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, CON, Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.

1.2       Goodwill messages were delivered by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, represented by his Senior Legislative Aide, Mr. Victor Enedu,  the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Munguno, rtd, represented by Mr. Jesse Dinju, Assistant Director in the NSA, Office, Controller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, rtd., represented by ACGC J.P. Ijekwu, the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, A.G Abubakar and the Managing Director, Nigerian Export-Import Bank, Mr. Abba Bello represented by the Head of Risk, Mr. Umara Gubio.

1.3       The Meeting which was preceded by a Session of the Technical Officials was presided over by the Chairman-in-Council, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, CON, Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.  Other participants at the Meeting included Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Evelyn N. Ngige, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Honourable Commissioners of State Ministries of Commerce, Industry, Trade and Investment and their Permanent Secretaries, Officials of State Ministries of Commerce, Industry, Trade and Investment, Directors, Chief Executive Officers of Agencies as well as Officials of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Organized Private Sector (OPS) and other relevant Stakeholders.

2.0       PAPER PRESENTATION

2.1       Ten (10) strategic papers were presented around the theme of the Meeting with the lead paper on the topic “Strengthening Industry, Trade and Investment Sector as a Strategy for Consolidating the Growth of Nigeria’s Economy” presented by Prof. Ado Ahmad, Professor of Department of Accounting and Finance, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University. The other papers presented were as follows:

  1. “Implementing the FMITI Ministerial Mandates: A Catalyst for Nigeria’s Development” by Mr Kamar Bakrin, Head of Delivery Unit, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment;
  2. Strengthening Economic Diversification through the Development of the Nigerian Commodities Sector” by Mr Suleiman Adebayo Audu, Director, Commodities and Exports Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment;
  3. The Role of Trade Facilitation in 21st Century Economic Development” by Mr Abubakar M. Aliyu, Director, Trade Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment;
  4. “The Role of MSMEs in the Growth and Development of the Economy” by Mr Wale Fasanya, Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN);
  5. “The Place of Strategic Funding in Economic Diversification and National Development” by Mr Kayode Pitan, Managing Director, Bank of Industry;
  6. “Diversification of Nigerian Economy under the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP)” by Mr Zacch Adedeji, Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council;
  7. “Strengthening Industry, Trade and Investment Sector through the National Apprenticeship and Traineeship System” bySir Joseph Ari, KSM, Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF);
  8. “African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement: A Panacea for Nigeria’s Economic Rebirth” by Mr Olusegun Olutayo, Expert on AfCFTA; and
  9.  “The Strategic Collaboration of UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Nigeria with Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)” by Abimbola Olufore, UNIDO, Nigeria Country Office.

3.0       PLENARY SESSION

3.1       Council, at Plenary, considered eighty-three (83) Memoranda on various matters affecting the Industry, Trade and Investment Sectors. Arising from the deliberations, 57 Memoranda were considered as information, 11 as action and 15 were stepped down. In this regard, Council amongst others, noted as follows:

  1.  The need for deepening collaboration amongst MDAs (Federal and State), as well as the Organized Private Sector to promote industrialization and increase investment in the local economy for employment generation and wealth creation;
  2. The importance of the Industry, Trade and Investment Sectors in sustainable national growth and development;
  3. The role of the Commodities Sector in the achievement of the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration in the diversification of the national economy from its over-dependence in the oil and gas sector;
  4. The role of strategic trade facilitation in promoting economic development through increased patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods and services, particularly under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement protocol;
  5. The disturbing issue of the rejection of Nigerian Agro-commodities in the international market and efforts being made by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in addressing the challenge which has culminated in the constitution of the Implementation Committee of the Technical Committee on Agro-Commodities reject by the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment;
  6. The encroachment of the African Regional Centre for Engineering Design and Manufacturing (ARCEDEM) in Ibadan by Private Property Developers with the authority of the Oyo State Government;
  7. The poor participation of State Governments at the 14th NCITI, which is an indication of the unwillingness of the States to support the Federal Government’s efforts to develop the country through industrialization and increased investment in the local economy;
  8. The viability of mobile phone production on national economies and emphasize the need for Nigeria to take advantage of its teeming population to benefit from the opportunity that the subsector provides to the national economy;
  9. The challenge faced by most State Governments in acquiring the requisite technology and machinery for the production of jute bags and other food-packaging materials from kenaf;
  10. The efforts by Governments globally to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging the production and use of electric vehicles;
  11. That Nigeria’s participation at the 2025 World Expo in Japan will primarily guarantee the country access to over 180 participating economics and International Organizations to interact, network and promote “Made-in- Nigeria” goods and services;
  • The commissioning of four pilot Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and NADDC’s Headquarters;
  • that Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment had inaugurated the Technical Working Committee on resuscitation of the Nation’s Moribund Rubber and Tyre Industry;
  • The Ministry has developed draft regulations for the Legal Metrology Control of utility meters, which was made available to relevant stakeholders;
  • that Nigeria is scheduled to be the vice chair in the year 2023 and host the Inter Africa Coffee Organization (IACO) annual general meetings in the preceding year, 2024; and
  • noted the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (CIPMN) to institutionalize Project Management in Nigeria and urged companies, and organizations, both Government and Private, including individuals handling projects to engage only project managers certified by the Institute.

4.0       RESOLUTIONS OF COUNCIL

4.1       Accordingly, Council resolved as follows:

  1. To take necessary steps to ensure the observance of the highest standards in the production, processing, packaging and storage of Agro-commodities meant for the international market to maintain optimum competitiveness in line with global best practices;
  2. To encourage increased synergy amongst Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including the Organized Private Sector and Development Partners in the Industry, Trade and Investment Sectors for effective coordination of the activities of MSMEs for better impact on the AfCTA in the export of Nigerian products and services within the African Continent;
  3. That NMSMEs being the backbone of major developed economies, as well as important contributors to employment, economic and export growth should be accorded the necessary support and collaboration at every tier of government and the organized private sector in order to fast track the growth and development of Nigeria;
  4. That a National Steering Committee comprising all relevant stakeholders, both public and private, for the implementation of the national kenaf policy upon ratification by the Federal Executive Council should be constituted by the FMITI;
  5. That FMITI engage stakeholders and build their capacity including creating awareness on the benefit of EU-GSP (REX System) so as to enable them to take advantage of the Scheme;
  6. To develop the industrial sector in line with global practices and to sensitize the Nigerian public on the need to reduce carbon emissions;
  • To collect and develop guidelines for the administration of industrial clusters, parks, estates and special economic zones in the country and to request the Honourable Minister, Industry, Trade and Investment to give effect to the resolution under relevant laws; and
  • encouraged States to key into the Market Access Program (MAP) and provide support for exporters to acquire relevant certifications under the programme.

5.0       COUNCIL, THEREAFTER, APPROVED:

  1. The engagement of relevant stakeholders for their input and support in the development of wood, furniture and bamboo sector policy and establishment of a framework for infrastructural development in the sector as well as conformity to environmental and international best practices;
  2. The mid-term review of the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) in order to align and conform to the prevailing economic realities;
  3. The development of strategic policy measures to boost local production of calcium hypochlorite for municipal water treatment in order to guarantee self-sufficiency and socio-economic stability in Nigeria;
  4. The establishment of additional Domestic Export Warehouses (DEWs) in each of the six geopolitical zones and granting of provisional licenses to the operators
  5. the implementation measures for the development of the Nigerian Wheat Processing and Confectionery Sector.
  6. the Trade Information and Complaints Division of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to carry out Trade Remedies in handling Trade Disputes in Nigeria;
  7. that the Ministry in collaboration with NEPC take immediate steps to bid for the hosting of the 2025 Intra-African Trade Fair;
  8. the establishment of Export Trade Houses in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China and South Africa; and
  9. To escalate to relevant MDAs the need for the construction of the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, which is the only access road to Indorama-Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited, two (2) National Refinery plants, Notore OGFZ, the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, Federal Ocean Terminal, Federal Lighter Terminal, etc; in view of its importance to the nation’s economy.

6.0       CONCLUSION

6.1.      Council commended the financial and moral support of the Governor of Bauchi State, H.E. Sen. Bala Abdukadir Mohammed, Kauran Bauchi, Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, H.E. Otunba Niyi Adebayo CON; the Honourable Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji  Katagum, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Evelyn N. Ngige and the Honourable Commissioner of Bauchi State Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Zainab Baban Takko and her Permanent Secretary, Mallam Aliyu Suleiman for their efforts towards the successful hosting of the 14th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment in Bauchi State.

6.2       Council commended the leadership of Bauchi State for the show of support and hospitality rendered to the delegates for the success of the 14th meeting of the National Council in Bauchi, Bauchi State. Council further commended the efforts made by the Delegates, the Secretarial Team of the Council, Security Personnel, Media as well as stakeholders for the successful completion of the meeting.

6.3       The meeting was adjourned to a date and venue that will be communicated to members in due course.

Done this 10th Day of November, 2022

Command Guest House Inn, Bauchi, Bauchi State.

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