Connect with us

Business

Govt Inaugurates Committee On Review Of Nigeria’s Trade Policy

Published

on

Govt To Address Challenges Facing Cotton Industry - Minister

The Federal Government has inaugurated a committee on the review of Nigeria”s Trade Policy
Members of the committee were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiation, (NOTN), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), academia among others.

Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo said the ceremony marked a significant new trajectory on how Nigeria uses international trade and investment as veritable tools for economic growth and poverty reduction.

Otunba Adebayo stated that the major objectives of Nigeria’s Trade Policy which were first articulated in a document in 1989 under the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), was later revised in 2002; and has not been reviewed or revised since then.

“So, today, we have begun a new phase in the ongoing efforts by the ministry to review and update the National Trade Policy of Nigeria 2002, with a view to ensuring that the new trade policy framework reflects the very dramatic changes that have taken place in the global trade and economic policy landscape, especially the 2008/2009 global financial and economic crises, as well as the current health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he explained.

According to him, all the developments have greatly affected the way we produce and trade, including the evolution of global production networks and global value chains and it is, therefore, the firm commitment of the ministry that Nigeria has to strategically respond to these global trends, in order to promote and sustain its trade performance.

READ ALSO: Adebayo Asks UK To Address Challenges Faced By Nigerian Businesses

“It is also the ministry’s expectation that the updated Trade Policy of Nigeria document will effectively capture the nine core policy priorities of the recently launched Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025” Otunba Adebayo stressed.

The minister listed the priorities to include building a thriving and sustainable economy; enlarge agricultural output for food security; attain energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products; and expand transport and other infrastructure development.

He said others are expand business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialisation; improve access to quality education, affordable health care and productivity; enhance social inclusion and reduce poverty; build systems to fight corruption, improve governance and create national cohesion; and improve security for all.

“Under these circumstances, it is important for us to ensure that the new Trade Policy of Nigeria is not only consistent with international best practices to enhance productivity and competitiveness, but also fully takes into account the realities of the national economy in the 21st Century,” he emphasized.

Otunba Adebayo noted that all national trade policy frameworks need to explicitly address all aspects of development, including sustainable development, in a holistic manner by providing opportunities for creating wealth through income generation and distribution, increased employment and competitiveness, as well as economic and social well-being.

“This is more so as trade has been central to ending global poverty; and continues to contribute to the economic growth and development of all economies, big or small,” he pointed out.

The minister further stated that to ensure transparency and predictability, it is important that the Trade Policy of Nigeria adopts a perspective approach, such as a five-year cycle which will be the first in this dispensation

“Similarly, it is essential that the national trade policy framework, going forward, is continuously augmented or complemented by year-to-year import and export policy guidelines, thereby reducing trade costs and enhancing a more transparent trade-enabling environment in Nigeria. For this to be effective and efficient, a robust and intensive mechanism for consultations with stakeholders, particularly the private sector and civil society is required.

I, therefore, hope that the TPNRC would consider and provide for how best this objective should be operationalised,” he stated.

According to him, In spite of the prevailing environment of geo-political tensions, particularly the Brexit Vote, the 2016 US elections and the intensification of trade tensions with China, as well as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, the international trading system has continued to experience several initiatives on trade reforms, leading to various new preferential trade agreements, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (FTA) Agreement that entered into force on 30th May, 2019.

READ ALSO: How Govt Can Attract Investments To Nigeria’s Economy – Okonjo-Iweala

“Since there is consensus that the the main political implication of the proliferation of free trade agreements is the positive impact it has on international trade, including the promotion of growth and development in developing countries and LDCs, Nigeria also needs to fashion out how to use its FTA landscape to support pro-growth and pro-poor trade policy reforms. To ensure inclusive economic recovery and growth, special attention should be paid to the needs of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), youth and women, as well as persons with disabilities,” he emphasized.

“Let me assure you that, in providing these guidelines, it is not my intention to be prescriptive, or to circumscribe your work, as a review committee. Nevertheless, I merely wish to highlight the key pillars around which you may need to build, so as to ensure coherence and consistency with the various activities and issues already articulated under the Ministry’s Trade Policy Action Plan 2022 – 2026, which was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC)” He added.

In a remark, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Mike Okpanachi who commended the Federal Government for the setting up of the committee said the move would go a long way in enhancing the growth of the nation’s economy.

He therefore promised the committee’s commitment towards producing a trade document that would meet international best practices in the sector.

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Business

Outage Looms As Electricity Workers Threaten To Shut Down National Grid

Published

on

BREAKING: National Grid Collapses Again, Triggers Nationwide Outage

Nationwide outage may soon occur as the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has again threatened to shut down the national grid.

The electricity employees are disappointed that the two-week given to the Federal Government to resolve the crisis has elapsed.

While briefing reporters in Kaduna on Thursday, Comrade Dukat Ayuba, the zonal organizing secretary, North West of NUEE, explained that while negotiation was still on-going, the shutdown of the national grid was imminent.

 READ ALSO: Why Shutdown Of Electricity Nationwide Will Continue – Workers

According to him, the so-called privatization of the sector was a scam, explaining that nine (9) years after, nothing has changed to improve its activities, especially to the consumers of electricity.

He added: “That was why we kicked against privitazing the distribution sector, because the investors don’t have the capacity and expertise. As committed Nigerians, we advised government against it. But the government was hell- bent on doing so.”

He noted that the investors were still operating with obsolete equipment dating back to 35, 40, and 50 years, stating that one would expect that with the coming of the investors, they would replace the obsolete equipment but nothing had been done.

He regretted that the nation still generates 5,000 megawatts of electricity, saying that it is the same 5,000 megawatts that they used to generate, with no benefit from privitazation.

He added that the company now generates megawatts with higher tariffs, bringing hardships to the homes of millions of Nigerians and that is what all Nigerians are experiencing at the moment.

According to Wisdom Nwachukwu, a member of Central Executive Committe, the federal government now wants to sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

He stated that they were going behind meeting with some stakeholders and that they would not allow that, as they were patriotic Nigerians that want the best for the country.

READ ALSO: Nationwide Blackout Begins As Grid Collapses

Ado Gaya, the Vice President, North West, NUEE, while elaborating further, revealed that the 16 months remunerations demanded by the electricity workers are their legitimate earnings which involved 55,000 workers.

He explained that nine years after, the workers have not received a dime, regretting that many of the workers have died, while those who were laid off are suffering with their families receiving nothing to help them make a living.

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

Business

BREAKING: Nigeria’s Debt Hits N42.84 Trillion

Published

on

BREAKING: Nigeria's Debt Hits N42.84 Trillion

Nigeria’s total public debt stock is now N42.84 trillion ($103.31 billion), according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

It was N41.60 trillion ($100.07 billion) in March.

According to a statement from DMO’s website on Tuesday, the total debt represents the domestic and external debt stocks of the federal government, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

It noted that while the foreign component of the debt remained at the same level of N16.61 trillion ($39.96 billion), the local component increased to N26.23 trillion ($63.24 billion).

The local component of the country’s borrowings was N24.98 trillion ($60.1 billion) as of March 30. The DMO said a larger percentage of the external debts were concessional and semi-concessional loans.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Public Debt Hits N38.005 Trillion

“Over 58 per cent of the external debt stock are concessional and semi-concessional loans. They were obtained from multilateral lenders such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Afrexim and African Development Bank, and bilateral lenders including Germany, China, Japan, India and France,” explained the DMO.

It added that the total domestic debt stock increased from N24.98 trillion ($60.1 billion) in March to N26.23 trillion ($63.24 billion) in June, pointing out that it “is due to new borrowings by the FGN to part-finance the deficit in the 2022 Appropriation (Repeal and Enactment) Act, as well as new borrowings by state governments and the FCT.”

The DMO further mentioned that the total public debt-to-GDP ratio remained within limits, at 23.06 per cent, while debt-service-to-revenue was still high.

It, however, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime is committed to increasing revenue to reduce the amount that went into debt servicing.

“The debt-to-GDP as of June 30 was 23.06 per cent compared to the ratio of 23.27 as of March 30. It remains within Nigeria’s self-imposed limit of 40 per cent,” the DMO noted.

“While the federal government continues to implement revenue-generating initiatives in the non-oil sector and block leakages in the oil sector, debt service-to-revenue ratio remains high.”
(NAN)

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

Business

23 Million Jobs Lost Under Buhari – Abubakar Atiku

Published

on

Only Ayu Can Decide To Resign As PDP Chair - Atiku

Over 23 million Nigerians have lost their jobs since Muhammadu Buhari became the nation’s president, according to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, also lamented that Nigeria’s economy was “crawling” instead of growing, and Nigerians were miserable under Buhari’s rule.

“The Nigerian economy is crawling rather than growing,” the PDP standard-bearer stated.

The former vice president noted that per capita income, “a measure of citizens’ well-being, has progressively fallen since 2015 because of declining output and a fast-growing population.”

He added, “Nigerians are worse off today than they were in 2015.”

READ ALSO: Keyamo Once Sued Tinubu For Certificate Forgery – Atiku Campaign Spokesman

“More Nigerians are poorer and more miserable today than in 2015,” Abubakar further stated.

“Basic commodities are now beyond the reach of the average Nigerian. A loaf of bread costs 100 per cent more today than it did in 2020.”

Abubakar, Nigeria’s vice president between 1999-2007, disclosed this while speaking on Tuesday at the Private Sector Economic Forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos.

“Under the present administration, our people are not working. More than 23 million people are out of jobs,” Abubakar claimed. “In just five years between 2015 and 2020, the number of fully employed people dropped by 54 per cent, from 68 million to 31 million people.”

The opposition presidential candidate was once in the same party, APC, as Buhari.

On Friday, however, Buhari claimed the Nigerian economy was growing under his leadership despite the COVID-19 pandemic disruption, Russia-Ukraine war and internal crises besetting the country.

“In this period, challenges faced by the world have been many, including lockdowns as COVID-19 raged; disruptions to supply chains around the world, and sharp fluctuations in prices,” the Nigerian leader explained.

“Our economy continues to grow despite the adverse effects of rising interest rates, a stronger U.S. dollar and higher inflation across the world.”

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

Top Stories

%d bloggers like this: