National trade and investment Summit issues communique Harps on conducive environment for trade facilitation

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National trade and investment
Summit issues communique

Harps on conducive environment for trade facilitation

By Udeme Clement :

Dignitaries on the high table during the summit:

The organisers of National trade and investment summit 2020, have issued a communique highlighting recommendations made at the end of the programme.

The communique was signed and made available to Financial Business News by the Head of Media & Logistics,
Tradepower Global Communications and
Secretary General,
Ndigboamaka Progressive Association, COMRADE
CHINEDU UKATU.

Presentation of award during the summit 

Participants at the summit were drawn from the academia, commerce and industry, political class, importers, exporters and the media, among others.

The summit focuses on the need to harness potentials of trade, investment and also the potentials of key traders.

The communique stated, “There are over 400 major markets in Lagos State alone involved in trade and investments and it is imperative for them to be recognised and carried along in market, trading and investment policies formulations, if government is really determined to grow the economy. For instance, the Lagos market board that has existed for a decade without a single trader on the board.

“Despite the growth in import and export trade, there is delay in turnaround time, precipitating into low rate on ease of doing business, which impacts on the economy adversely.”

The summit identified the role trade and investment will play in Nigeria on the approved African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), a continental initiative taking off in 2021, which is meant to create a single market for goods and services by removing all existing trade barriers.”

Speakers at the summit stressed the need for key actors to conduct thorough research before venturing into any sector, for a proper investment activity.

Investors described the Summit as timely, considering the devastating effect of the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic that has affected almost all trading and investments activities globally.
They emphasised the sector’s importance and genuine presence of an advocacy group like Tradepower Global Communication, cannot be overemphasized considering the developmental impact on a country’s economy.

To them, trade plays a major role in stemming poverty and unemployment in a country, While increasing individual’s choice and freedom, high values for life and human capital.
Trade brings integration in the global value chain,
enhances a country’s income generating capacity.

The forum decried various factors militating against trade and investment in the country namely; irregular power supply and absence of good road network;
lack of human capital development, dignity of labour; high level of insecurity, bedeviled by poor techinical and personnel inadequacies.

Other issues include cumbersome documentation with multiple signatures required to perfect a single deal; resistance to change by beneficiaries of the corrupt system.

More so, the document stated, “To put the country on a good pedestal to tap full potentials of the sector, the Summit recommended the following; Transparency in business transactions at every level of business by government agencies involved in trade facilitation to key stakeholders in trade and investment unit;
simplification of processes and procedures especially at the sea ports, airports and land borders;
harmonisation of processes with neighboring countries and intra-government agencies; standardisation of transactions in all government agencies”.

The document draws government attention to tourism, which ranks next to agriculture, stressing that if fully tapped via the process of harmonisation and simplification, will aid economic growth.
The communique mentioned the need for policies geared towards assisting key actors and players with liberalised interest loan facilities through Bank of Industry.

The Summit called for legal reforms to help trade and investment in a clear, concise and transparent manner, while also calling for synergy with private sectors to rebuild a stronger inter-agency cooperation.

The forum decried absence of key policy makers at both the Federal and State levels; Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Lagos State Ministry for Commerce and Industry.
Participants commended NAFDAC for its commitment to the country’s regulatory framework to enhance efficiency and improve service delivery to stakeholders, especially among small scale enterprises and always making itself available for useful engagement, interaction with relevant stakeholders, as well as the media.

According to the communique, Trade power Global Communications the conveners in liaison with NAFDAC, Ndi-Igbo Amaka Progressive Association and other regulatory bodies are to drive the implementation and decisions arising from the Summit.
The honourable minister of trade and investments should communicate the decisions and recommendations made at the Summit to the Presidency in Nigeria and onward to ECOWAS, AU and other international trade and investment partners.

The theme of the summit held at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, was “Harnessing the Potentials of Trade and Investment for National Economic Growth and Sustainability”.

It was organised by Trade Power Global Communications in conjunction with Ndi-Igbo Amaka Progressive Association, the umbrella body of major markets in Lagos State.

Representative of NAFDAC DG on the high table during the summit :
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