After so much publicity on the made-in-Nigeria campaign, the federal government is putting finishing touches to a bill that will enforce compliance and give credence to the patronage of made in Nigeria goods campaign. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who stated this in Abuja recently also gave assurance that domestic trade promotion would form the core of a new trade strategy being put together by the ministry.
For a very long time, economic experts have called for enabling laws to sustain guarantee made-in-Nigeria product, with the new development, there is hope that Nigeria’s goods would receive more patronage. The proposed bill on made in Nigeria goods will focus on patronage of products that Nigeria has the capacity to produce which would boost efforts at promoting the revitalization of the automobile, textile and plastics industries when passed into law.
The promoters of the bill explained to the Economic Confidential online magazine that that any waiver to be granted by the federal government would henceforth be sector-specific as part of the transformational agenda of government. The ministry of Trade is being repositioned to become a centre of trade agreements, data, statistics and trade-related information.
Meanwhile the Federal Government is also currently working on a new trade policy that will optimally harness Nigeria’s trade potentials for job creation, wealth generation and economic transformation. It would also provide an enabling environment to boost trade and investment across all sectors of the Nigerian economy. A committee on that was set up by the Ministry of Trade to review the country’s existing trade policies, which would soon complete its work.
The Ministry‘s mandate cuts across four major areas such as attracting Foreign Direct Investment into all sectors of the economy, infrastructure and power and trade, industry and enterprise.
It is expected that the committee will soon submit a creative, comprehensive, practicable and thought-provoking report that will remove all bottlenecks inhibiting the full actualization of Nigeria’s trade potentials and reposition trade to serve as a catalyst for job creation, wealth generation and economic transformation.
The objective is to ensure that Nigeria has an all-inclusive trade policy that covers all sectors of the economy, including export of crude oil. A robust policy is required that will determine how and where the country exports its crude oil.
Speaking on the ministry’s strategy for growing the nation’s industrial sector, Aganga recently stated that it would concentrate its efforts on areas where the country had comparative and competitive advantage, adding that the Federal Government was committed to partnering the Organised Private Sector to increase the productivity of local industries.
He said, “Our aim is to build our industries where we have comparative and competitive advantage. Also, we want to proactively link industries to our research institutes across the country because we strongly believe that innovation is a key part of industrial development. Countries that have successfully achieved rapid industrial development were able to do so because of the strong link between the industrial sector and research institutions. We have begun talks with the Ministry of Science and Technology on how we can make this work.”
There is an urgent need to review and harmonise Nigeria’s trade policies to enable the country maximise its abundant human natural resources for rapid economic transformation. In the past, some people will just go abroad and sign different types of trade agreements on behalf of the Federal Government without recourse to the economic implications of such agreements to the Nigerian economy.