President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria would sign an agreement on the Continental Africa free trade Area next month in Rwanda.
The purpose is to prioritise trade as a significant instrument for reform in the Country.
He stated this at the opening ceremony of the 39th Kaduna International trade fair, holding in Kaduna.
He further disclosed that, the purpose of the agreement will be to promote regional trade.
“Right now, the intra African trade is less than 15%, saying, other regions of the World is well over 50%, so we want to move that of intra Africa to about 30% so as to grow,” he emphasised.
Represented by the Minster of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, he assured that, “other policies being pursued will promote export by establishing special economic growth where Nigeria and International businesses would have the required infrastructure”.
He mentioned that the theme of this year’s fair edition, “promoting Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for International Competitiveness” is aligned with the economic recovery and growth plan of the country.
According to the President, “the vision of our government is to make the Country one of the easiest, safest and attractive places to do business in the World”.
He said his administration is prioritising the industrial sector by focusing on rebuilding the Nation’s infrastructure.
“One of the important initiatives of our government is the Industrial policy and competitiveness advisory council, which is a partnership of the government with the private sector meant to solve difficult problems militating against industrialization”.
While speaking on the occasion, the National President, National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Industry, NISAMA, Iya Lode Lawsan said the theme underscores the riding interest in the competitiveness of locally produced goods and services.
“KADCCIMA should also show its support to the efforts of both the State and Federal government towards reviving the economy, particularly investing in agriculture, manufacturing, technology and other commercial activities”.
Lawsan hoped that participants at the fair will acknowledge victory in economic returns, as well as increase exposure to global brands of businesses.
Upsurge of participants
The trade fair witnesses an upsurge in the number of participants, stakeholders and patrons in spite of the economic crunch experienced in the Country.
The President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, KADCCIMA, Muhibbat Ɗankaka stated this during the opening ceremony.
She disclosed that, investors and manufacturers have been drawn from across the country and the World, including, India, China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Gambia, Niger, Ghana, Senegal and Mali amongst others.
The President said the country needs to “create an enabling environment for private sector participation in the economy by tackling the challenges of insecurity, improve infrastructure, ensure respect for law and provision of adequate supply”.
Ɗankaka noted that no national economy can survive without the support of other economies, hence, the emergence of multilateral institutions with international mandates to regulate trade practises globally.
Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Barnabas Bantex said, “the State is glad to support the initiative of KADCCIMA through concrete policy actions that improves the ease of doing business and attracting investors to set up business ventures in the State”.
He urged participants to implore the use of the State’s business licensing process as agriculture remains the leading investment sector.
Bantex wished all participants at the fair success in showcasing their products and creating new links in their various business ventures
Some of the activities lined up for the fair include, quiz competition, business roundtable, trade fair seminar and a farewell dinner in honour of exhibitors.
The 39th Kaduna International trade fair which commenced on February 23, will end on March 4, 2018.