FG hopeful of improved investment as Lagos Trade Fair commences
As the Lagos International Trade Fair commences, the Federal Government has expressed optimism about improved value-chain development between Nigerian businesses and foreign exhibitors, thus enhancing economic growth.
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, reiterated the plans of his administration to revise Nigeria’s trade policy by deploying mechanisms to drive trade facilitation and market access.
The President made this known at the opening ceremony of the 35th edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said the revision would capture the country’s current economic realities.
He noted that it would also consider the nation’s aspirations of further trade growth and access to markets both locally and regionally, especially in the advent of the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He added that the fully revised version of the trade policy would incorporate significant strategies to mitigate the concerns of traders, such as infrastructure bottlenecks and low domestic demand for “Made-in-Nigeria” goods.
“It will also strengthen domestic value chains, especially in the agribusiness sector. As a Ministry, we recognise the role that the government needs to play to maintain confidence in both cross-border and wider international trade and investment.
“Investors from Europe, China, Morocco and the United Kingdom are making strong commitments and this administration is working tirelessly to ensure that these commitments turn into projects that positively affect our nation,” he said.
The President said the LITF provided a great platform to amplify trade discussions and ensure Nigeria’s business community was well positioned for the AfCFTA.
LCCI President, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, said the theme of the fair, ‘Connecting Businesses, Creating Value’ underscored the importance of relationships and networking among businesses for the purpose of wealth creation.
Mabogunje said the Nigerian economic conditions had been challenging even as the economy recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic shocks and disruptions.
She said that as investors, there was a need to continue to demonstrate resilience and determination to forge ahead despite these challenges.
“This trade fair provides a platform to identify non-oil alternatives, highlights the significance of value addition and trade, equally serves as an avenue to boost economic and commercial activities,” she said.
She charged the government at all levels to do a lot more to attract more private capital into the Nigerian economy.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu also assured of his administration’s commitment to work assiduously towards enthroning a business-friendly environment with a view to facilitating profitable returns on investment in the state.
Sanwo-Olu added that his administration would continue to evolve sound policies that would stand the test of time and also provide the much-needed roadmap for our journey to economic recovery and prosperity.
In his remarks, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ide John Udeagbala, charged government and other stakeholders to address the plights of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
He stressed that MSME required maximum support for sustained economic growth and development, noting that they formed the majority of the exhibitors and participants at the LITF.