Home Breaking news National Trade and Investment Summit 2020 shifts date to 3rd of November

National Trade and Investment Summit 2020 shifts date to 3rd of November

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By Omenihu Alfred Fibmn

In a sharp response to the unstable situation in the country courtesy of the ongoing demonstrations the organizers of National Trade and Investment Summit 2020 on the Theme: “HARNESSING THE POTENTIALS OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT FOR NATIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY”, which was previously slated for 22nd of October at Airport Hotel Ikeja, Lagos has been shifted to November 3rd, 2020.

Over the years, African countries and the world at large have acknowledged the importance of trade facilitation and have signed numerous trade facilitation inclusive policies and agreements at bilateral, sub-regional, and regional levels. However, most of these initiatives, despite being robust and ambitious have yielded very limited benefits. The latest foreign trade report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals that Nigeria’s foreign trade dropped to N8.3 trillion from N10.12 trillion amounting to a reduction by 18% in Q1 2020. Analysts have reported that it is not an indication of an improved economy because the country still has anti-business policies after all.

Our lead consultants believe that time is ripe to integrate Nigerian traders who are key players in the sector into major trade policies, challenges, and investment opportunities in the sector. Especially with the signing of The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which when fully implemented, the trade deal will create a single market for goods and services by removing existing trade barriers across Africa. The agreement is expected to boost regional trade by reducing tariffs and allowing companies to expand and enter new markets. Commissioner for Trade and Industry, AUC, Albert Muchanga, said 42 percent of the AfCFTA is made up of manufacturing, stating that manufacturing stands as a key cluster to enhance capacity with a focus on value addition. Muchanga said the focus of the deal is to boost industrialization and ensure integration of the African continent.

The main aim of the Summit is to brainstorm on the need to create a conducive environment for the pursuit of trade, industry, investment and other economic activities of interest to the private sector in conjunction with our numerous media partners. The unique Summit is specifically designed to provide participants with essential knowledge that will create flexibility in their business environment. With a rare assembly of quintessential speakers, iron-disciplined participants, and industry executives from trade, industry, and Investment, the Summit promises an exciting opportunity for knowledge, networking, and business development.

However, as efforts are being made by the present administration to address the current challenges with a view to promoting efficiency and industrial harmony, there is an absolute complementary need for an exhaustive interaction and exchange of ideas and opinions between the government and the stakeholders. Furthermore, the event will not only create the platform for amicable resolution of all existing issues of conflict among the stakeholders but will also help the government in evolving the right policies and measures that can stimulate economic growth, which would also be seen to be stakeholder’s friendly.

Apart from our numerous media partners that would give the event wide coverage, participants and representations will also be drawn from manufacturers, members of the academia, shippers, diplomatic corps, freight forwarders, and from the highest levels of decision-making in government and business, with ample opportunity for one-on-one interaction. The summit will equally recognse a few rare gems who have contributed positively to National trade, industry and investment.

The epoch-making Summit is powered by TradePower Global Communications in conjunction with Ndigboamaka Progressive Association, the umbrella body of major market Associations in Lagos. The Association has been at the forefront, propagating the gospel of inclusiveness that is the inclusion of traders in Governance and policy decisions especially as it concerns traders. The Association is non-partisan.

According to Hon Comrade Chinedu Ukatu, the Secretary-General this Association have been partnering with key government agencies mostly those that facilitates trade, also sensitizing the government on the need to see traders as FORMAL SECTOR rather than being addressed as INFORMAL SECTOR, based on the enormous contributions to the growth of the economy.

“There is a need to allocate projects for different markets as part of their CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES (CSR) bearing in mind that ‘ TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS EXPECTED”
“Though we are very much aware that Agencies are guided by enabling acts, CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY can equally be achieved in form of technical partnerships to advance the course of government policy, hence collaboration in relation to sensitization and sponsorship of special training, local and overseas should be encouraged, FIRS, SHIPPERS COUNCIL, NPA, NIMASA ETC are key in this regards.”

“There is a need to provide mutual business trust between the trading community and NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE (NCS). The CUSTOMS CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (CCC) earlier formed by the last CUSTOMS management of which I was a member, was technically suspended by the current administration due to administrative policy focus and conception. It must be stated that the Customs policy group is a requisite for customs Modernization as conceptualizing by WCO framework of standards hence it’s apt for soonest return of CCC.”

“I may not conclude this little piece without lamentations on the non-involvement of Market leaders in LAGOS MARKET BOARD. The Lagos Market board which has operated over a decade have no single market leader in its fold and it’s quite unfortunate. The essence of inclusion in such is to offer the needed expertise with regards to market issues, which guides LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT on policy formations as regards to market operations in Lagos and equally provide mutual business trust between the traders and Government thereby breaching the relationship gap between both.”

“Finally, may I conclude by appreciating HIS Excellency Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu, His Chief of Staff Mr Tayo Ayinde, Commissioner for Local government and community affairs Dr Wale Ahmed, Commissioner for Housing Hon Fatai and numerous others for the cooperation especially by providing enabling environment for dialogue as regards to market reopening and market operations during this evil pandemic (COVID 19). More grease to your elbows”