By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Federal Government has said that in its quest at ensuring Nigeria’s economy is robust, inclusive and vibrant, it would continue to partner the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) and the organised private sector.
Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu E. Enelamah, stated this at the Opening Ceremony of the 40th Kaduna International Trade Fair held on 30th March 2019 at the Kaduna International Trade and Investment Centre.
“We will continue to engage KADCCIMA and other Organised Private Sector (OPS) groups in the country on progress made on these initiatives and strategies for catalysing investment and improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“We are committed to partnering with the private sector in realising the vision we all share collectively of a robust, inclusive, vibrant vision for the economy. We acknowledge that the capital and expertise required to realise this vision resides in the private sector and we believe that KADCCIMA being one of the nation’s foremost Organised Private Sector groups in the country, is primed to take a lead in this regard,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that the Federal Government has begun implementing several programmes aimed at achieving these goals of growing a robust economy.
“One of these programs is the Made in Nigeria for Exports programme which seeks to fast track the development of model export oriented Special Economic Zones across the country to promote export-oriented agro-processing; the revision and rollout of several sector policies to promote investment in processing of agricultural commodities such as oil palm, cassava, tomatoes, sugar, dairy, amongst others.
“Also, the ERGP Secretariat is pursuing the implementation of 70 new investment projects identified during the recently concluded Manufacturing and Processing Focus Labs. These opportunities which were identified in food processing, textiles and garments, general manufacturing, etc present a great opportunity to improve the value added to our agricultural output and their scale is a testament to the potentials which exist in our economy,” he pointed out.
He noted that state governments remain a key ally to all businesses and their commitment is required for business to stay the course throughout the business lifecycles.
“For instance we rely on State Governments to provide access to land, act as mediators in conflict prevention and resolution, link local SMEs to the supply chains of processing companies, provide needed infrastructure to link farms to processing plants and markets and overall, provide a conducive environment for businesses and their host communities to thrive. I am glad to say that we have such a partner in the Kaduna State Government,” he added.
He however, announced that they are focused on resolving the challenges which remain in the business environment.
“Relevant teams across the Government are implementing various initiatives and policies that address key areas of concern such as the need for modern infrastructure, power supply and good road network across the country; improving the patronage of locally made goods;bridging the gap in industrial skills and innovation, ease of doing business, cost and access to finance for SMEs, resolving multiple taxation, amongst others.” He disclosed.
Enelamah said that despite the fact that agriculture contributes 25.5% of Nigeria’s GDP and almost 50% of its labour force, Nigeria continues to face the challenge of meeting domestic food requirements, providing raw materials for the manufacturing sector and exporting at quality and quantity levels required for market success.
“Creating a strong linkage between agriculture and industry is a sure way of bringing about sustainable growth by creating new jobs, improving value added, creating wealth for farming communities, improving manufacturing output and enabling the roll-out of infrastructure around farming communities industrialising our country,” he said.
He saluted all members of KADCCIMA and once again congratulated them on the occasion of the 40th Kaduna International Trade Fair.
“The success of our economic agenda largely depends on your understanding and participation. I therefore invite you today to join hands with government in making these efforts a success and I implore you to avail us your wealth of experience so that together we can uplift our nation,” he appealed.