1. A one-day National Trade and Investment Summit 2020, was held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State. The theme was “Harnessing the Potentials of Trade and Investment for National Economic Growth and Sustainability”. It was organised by TradePower Global Communications in conjunction with Ndi-Igbo Amaka Progressive Association, the umbrella body of major markets in Lagos State.
2. The participants; drawn from the academia, commerce and industry, political class, importers, exporters and the media, among others, noted as follows:
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.
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.
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 dignity of labour.
n. high level insecurity, bedeviled by poor techinical 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. Harmonisation of processes and procedures, especially with neighboring countries and intra government agencies.
t. Standardisation of ways of conducting transactions in all the government agencies. That tourism, which ranks next to agriculture, if fully tapped via the process of harmonisation 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 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.
Media & Logistics,
Tradepower Global Communications
Ndigboamaka Progressive Association
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