Govt lists obstacles to commodity sector efficiency
The Federal Government has attributed the problem of the commodity sub-sector to inability to process and add value to produce.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Abdulkadir Musa who disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, during the inauguration and presentation of certificates of registration of the three new national commodity associations.
The associations are Federation of Beekeepers Association of Nigeria (FEBKAN), National Banana and Plantain Growers, Processors and Marketers Association (NABPAN) and National Groundnut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NGROPPMAN).
Musa who was represented on the occasion by Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, Mr. AjiyaMammam, said, “as you are aware, one of the serious handicaps in the commodity sub-sector is our inability to gainfully process most of the commodities to add value. “This is a huge challenge if we must effectively create wealth out of this viable economic potential. “We can be sure that the nation would benefit immensely from the industry through employment and income generation, wealth creation and poverty alleviation.”
The permanent secretary added that the abolition of the former commodity marketing boards made government to introduce the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986, adding that the policy of commodity market liberalisation become chaotic.
This was due to the fact that new entrants into the market lacked the requisite experience to effectively conduct the market of commodity whereas the abolition of the existing board created a vacuum in the area of needed guidance.
To address this, the Federal Government set up the Export Commodity Coordinating Committee (ECCC) to sanitise the system by organising the existing and yet to be established trade groups into National Apex Commodity Associations”, he stated.
Musa stressed that with the official recognition of the new associations; they would be able to access all windows of opportunities, which would translate to increased production, and marketing of the commodities.
He advised them to ensure competitiveness of their products in the international market through quality enhancement, improved yield, information gathering and exchange and increased land area.
Director Commodities and Production Inspectorate in the ministry, Mr. Mohammed Badamasuiy, said 16 national commodity associations had been nurtured and inaugurated to provide the needed monitoring, leadership and guidance to these associations, stressing that the ministry has also established an umbrella commodity association, Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN) whose activities has contributed greatly to creating sanity and direction for these individual commodity associations.
According to him, a number of state and local governments have set up committees to boost the production and processing of honey with a high level of success achieved, noting that for beekeeping, the country had huge potential for the production of honey and its derivatives.
Badamasuiy added that banana and plantain were few commodities produced in the states, stressing that the medical potencies; nutritional value and the export earning potential of banana and plantain cannot be overemphasized.
The presidents of the associations thanked the government and promised to ensure that they would achieve the mandate and objectives they were created.