In an effort to boost Nigeria trade sector and enhance its global trade position, the Nigerian government recently introduced the Trade Policy of Nigeria (TPN) 2023-2027. This strategic plan was revealed on Thursday during a dialogue meeting themed “Trade as a catalyst for economic diversification” in Abuja, and it aims to foster the rapid growth and overall progress of the country’s economy. As numerous emerging economies have demonstrated, trade has proven to be a catalyst for considerable growth. Trade has a transformative effect by enhancing competitiveness, generating employment opportunities, and alleviating poverty, as outlined in the policy.
Also, the main aim of the policy is to make the most of these encounters and capitalise on the countless possibilities presented by an increasingly interconnected and open world, with the end goal of establishing a prospering trade industry. The TPNs main objective is to expedite growth that benefits the impoverished, using policies that are market-driven and align with Nigerian rights and obligations in the World Trade Organization. By doing so, the TPN aims to establish a just and balanced foundation for boosting Nigeria involvement in international trade.
Manufacturing will also contribute greatly to the economy.
The alignment between the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025 and Agenda 2050 is duly recognised by this statement. Emphasising the importance of harmonious operations, the policy details that TPN 2023-2027 have been strategically crafted to seamlessly integrate with the National Industrial Revolution Plan, investment initiatives, as well as other sectoral policies. It is aimed at fostering inclusiveness and maintaining coherence within the domestic policy environment. Also, during his speech at the event, Francis Meshioye, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), expressed his belief that exporting agricultural products should be reconsidered.
Speaking further, he emphasised that exporting these raw materials leads to the depletion of valuable resources, resulting in Nigeria having to import the finished processed forms of these agricultural products. Consequently, he advocated for a shift in this practice to ensure sustainable resource management and self-sufficiency. According to him, the economy’s welfare lies in granting priority to the manufacturing industry and enhancing it, which would enable the nation to obtain a characteristic contribution from its agricultural output.
More employment opportunities will be created for young individuals.
He expressed the notion that in due course, a multitude of employable young individuals found everywhere will begin to find occupation with them. As a result, numerous benefits will be reaped. This shall result in enhanced environmental stability since a significant number of young people will refrain from participating in acts of insecurity or criminal endeavours. Instead, they will become involved in entrepreneurial pursuits, particularly on a smaller scale, or secure jobs in the manufacturing industry where their productivity will flourish.
To boost economic growth, Doris Anite, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, emphasised the need for manufacturers to transition from exploitative practices to focusing on exports. She further highlighted the importance of manufacturers clearly declaring their exported goods and reinvesting the resulting interest or profits back into the economy. Also, exporters are expressing their grievances, citing the deplorable condition of the road to the marketplace. They assert the government’s responsibility to intervene and rectify the situation. However, she queried these exporters that they repatriated the foreign currency back to the country upon exporting their goods.
There should be effective leadership and an unwavering focus on the people.
Lastly, Adetokunbo Adekayode, who was the former president of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, voiced his opinion during the event, emphasising the resilience and strength of the Nigerian population. He stressed the crucial requirement of effective leadership and unwavering focus on the people. Additionally, Adekayode strongly urged the government to take proactive measures, including the identification and development of export readiness, empowerment of pertinent organisations, and the implementation of a well-defined export policy.