Home Business and Economy National Trade and Investment Summit 2020 releases comprehensive COMMUNIQUÉ

National Trade and Investment Summit 2020 releases comprehensive COMMUNIQUÉ


— advise organizers to extend same the honourable minister of trade and investments, the Presidency, ECOWAS, AU and other international trade and investment partners.

by Chris Njoku
The one-day National Trade and Investment Summit 2020 on the theme “Harnessing the Potentials of Trade and Investment for National Economic Growth and Sustainability” held on Tuesday, 3rd of November, 2020 at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State has continued to attract lots comments from Nigerians. So many applauded it as a positive step in the right direction hence they have called for the sustenance of the tempo especially at this momentous epoch when Nigeria is getting set to fully integrate with her counterparts in the African Free Continental trade agreement come 2021. The well-attended summit which was organized by Trade Power Global Communications in conjunction with Ndi-Igbo Amaka Progressive Association, the umbrella body of major markets in Lagos State drew participants; from academia, commerce and industry, government agencies, political class, importers, exporters, and the media, among others.

The first topic of the day was beautifully delivered by Her Excellency Chief (Dr) Amanda Opral Benson, MON. OON, D. F. IoD, the honourary Consul, the Republic of Liberia on the Contributions of trade and investment to the economic growth of Nigeria: the evaluation perspective. Thereafter widely traveled Dr Olabode Adewoye (Ph.D.) mounted the podium FIOR, MNMS, MEWG, ORD, MEWGROUP, SEC.GEN IORMS to present the panel topic “Trade Facilitation in Africa, challenges, and opportunities”. According to the noble member of the Euro working group on operations research and development, the main goal of trade facilitation is to help trade across countries with respect to import and export to be faster, cheaper, more predictable, and ensuring its safety and security.

In his contribution, Dr Edward Stevenson draws Nigerians attention to tourism which he foresaw might be the next national economic boom. He equally applauded the sound presentations of the two guest speakers saying, “They really hit the nail on the head”. Standing on the existing protocol, the Director who represented NAFDAC presented a new and clearer NAFDAC with ambiguities. She diligently did justice to all the questions raised. The organizers saluted NAFDAC for her commitment to the country’s regulatory framework to enhance efficiency and improve service delivery to stakeholders, especially among MSMEs, and always making itself available for useful engagement and interaction with relevant stakeholders and the media.

Aside from the intellectual trade, investment and industry brainstorming, panel presentations, contributions, questions and answers the National Trade and Investment Summit recognized hard work, commitment and immense contributions from a few selected trade and investment giants. They are as follows: Her Excellency Chief (Dr) Amanda Opral Benson, MON. OON, D. F. IoD, Consul, Republic of Liberia; Pharm Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, OFR, MON, FPSN, FNA Pharm, FPC Pharm; CHIEF DR. NZERIBE OKEGBUE (JP) FIBM, FNIIS, FCIAM, FCPA, FIMC, CMC, the MD/CEO of Combatant Guards Limited, Nzealbertech (Nig.) Ltd, Comrade Chinedu Ukatu, Secretary-General of Ndigboamaka Progressive Association, an umbrella body of major markets in Lagos; Dr Wale Ahmed, Hon. Commissioner for Local Government Area and Community Affairs, Lagos State; Chief (Dr) Chris Onyekachi, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Softran System Enterprises Nigeria Limited and CEO of Total Value Integrated Services Limited; Chief Ringo Okeke, President- General, South East, Ndigboamaka; Nze Basil E. Osuokwu, Chairman/CEO of O’Bassey Group of Companies Ltd; Chief Anthony Amechi Okeke, President/BOT member, Mandilas United Traders Association; High Chief Jude Chukwudi Obika President, Tools and Hardware Dealers Association; Chief Rufus Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, Chairman of Association of Fashion Wears Dealers, Lagos State and CEO of Ruffy-Simon Nig. Ltd; Comrade Obinna O. Obichukwu, President, Refrigeration and Air-conditions Dealers Association, Lawanson, Lagos: Chief Ezeani Tochukwu, CEO of Akuakoeze Nig Ltd/Vice-president, Ndigboamaka Progressive Association; SIR SUNDAY EDWIN IGBOANUZUE, Ichie Fabian Ezeorjika, Executive Chairman of Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria, Alaba International Market; Vincent Chukwudi Mezie Ikwueze, MD of Octopus Interiors and Designs Ltd/CEO of Suncrete Properties.

Others are, Mr Metu Augustine Ejike, CEO of METUOBI Investment Ltd/CEO of METUSEALA Maritime & Logistics Services Ltd; Ambassador Charles Emeka Okafor, CEO of Chabond International Co. Ltd; Chief Anthony Vianney Obih (Obiekunie), President, Great Balogun Business Association; Evangelist Paulinus Ugochukwu, Chairman/CEO of Sound Prince International Company Nig. Ltd: Edward Stevenson, General Manager of Tejuosho Property Development Company; Mr Ifeanyi Napoleon Oseji, MD/CEO of Fenco Global Technologies Limited; Leonard Ifedilichukwu (Ogbonnia Lithraco), MD/CEO of Lithraco International Limited/GIG Industries Limited; Kenneth Ugbaja, Vice- President of Tools and Hardwares Dealers Association; Leonard Anyanwu, Terminal Co-ordinator of Bollore Base 1 Terminal, kirikiri, Lagos.

a. That there is the need not just to harness the potentials of trade and investment but also the potentials of the key actors – the traders. And giving each marketing community a project as their corporate social responsibility periodically will be another positive step in the right direction.
b. That there are over 400 major markets in Lagos State alone involved in trade and investments and it is imperative for them to be recognized and carried along in market, trading and investment policies formulations if the Executives are really determined to grow the national economy. For instance, the Lagos market board that has existed for a decade without without a single trader on it.
c. That 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.
d. The summit identified the role trade and investment would play here in Nigeria over the approved African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), a continental initiative taking off in 2021 that is meant to create a single market for goods and services by removing all existing trade barriers, stating that country should have laid down policies to protect interest.
e. That there is need for key actors to conduct thorough research before venturing into the sector for a proper investment activity.
f. That the Summit was quite timely considering the devastating effect of the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic that has affected almost all trading and investments activities globally.
g. That the sector’s importance and genuine presence of an advocacy group as Tradepower Global Communication, cannot be overemphasized considering their developmental impact on a country’s economy.
h. That trade and investment plays a major role in stemming poverty and unemployment in a country.
i. That it increases individual’s choice and freedom, high values for life and human capital.
j. It brings integration in the global value chain.
k. It enhances a country’s income generating capacity.
2. The forum decried the various factors militating against trade and investment in the country namely:
l. Irregular power supply and absence of good road network.
m. Lack of human capital development and dignity of labour.
n. High level insecurity, bedeviled by poor technical and personnel inadequacies.
o. Cumbersome documentation with multiple signatures required to perfect a single deal.
p. Resistance to change by beneficiaries of the rotten system especially in public agencies and sectors.
3. To put the country on a good pedestal to tap fully the potentials of the sector, the Summit recommended the following:
q. Transparency in business transactions at every level of business from the government agencies involved with trade facilitations to the key stakeholders in trade and investment.
r. Simplification of processes and procedures especially in our sea ports, airports and land borders.
s. Harmonization of processes and procedures, especially with neighboring countries and intra government agencies.
t. Standardization of ways of conducting transactions in all the government agencies. That tourism, which ranks next to agriculture, if fully tapped via the process of harmonization and simplification, will aid the sector.
u. That there is need for policies geared towards assisting key actors and players with liberalised interest loan facilities through the Bank of Industry.
v. The Summit calls on government to simplify trade formalities, procedures and processes, by way of reorientating their agencies for better trade facilitation and economic growth.
w. Standardization of trade procedures should meet with International best practices.
x Summit calls for legal reforms to help trade and investment in a clear, concise and transparent manner and also calls for synergy with the private sectors and institutions to marry ideas and rebuild a stronger inter-agency cooperation.
y. The forum decried the absence from the summit 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, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Port Authority, NIMASA, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Standard Organization of Nigeria, National Association of Government approved agencies etc
z. The Summit salutes NAFDAC for her commitment to the country’s regulatory framework to enhance efficiency and improve service delivery to stakeholders, especially among MSMEs and always making itself available for useful engagement and interaction with relevant stakeholders and the media.
4. Conveners of this summit Trade power Global Communications 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 of this Summit to the Presidency of Nigeria and onward to ECOWAS, AU and other international trade and investment partners.