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NTIS to analyze Nigeria’s trade performance

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By Mercy Kelani

Better understanding of the macroeconomic environment is assured.

According to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, there are ongoing plans for the inauguration of Nigeria’s first National Trade Integration Study (NTIS). Organization of the course was overseen by the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom and Overseas Development Institute (ODI). The purpose of NTIS is to ensure proper understanding of the macroeconomic environment and difficulties that affect Nigeria’s integration into the international economy.

The study was introduced at the 3rd Trade Negotiation Skills (TNS) simulation course slated for 70 participants in Abuja. It was reported that the participants were members of 20 trade-related Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), civil societies, the private sector and the media. In his statement, the Minister affirmed the capacity of the study to analyze the performance of the country with consideration of its trade in goods and services and evaluation of the investment climate.

Ministry is working to boost trade policy experts’ skills.

Another advantage of the newly introduced course is its ability to identify opportunities for trade in major sectors with export potential and assessment of institutional capacity. The Industry, Trade and Investment boss added that the NTIS would ensure provision of an empirical framework that mainstreams trade into the development policies and strategies of the country. With this provision, it would serve as a platform that encourages comprehensive trade integration strategy in Nigeria while ensuring successful negotiation for the country.

Focusing on the need to widen the knowledge and skills of Nigerian trade policy experts, Adebayo stated that there is a need to foster the enhancement of trade negotiation skills of participants to enable them to contribute their quota to the nation’s effective participation in the present and future trade negotiations. There would be provision of a firm basis for informed discussions that concern diverse issues on trade policy. Regardless of these new policies, the ministry is improving in many areas to boost to the skills of Nigeria’s trade policy experts.

A bill for establishment of institutional and regulatory framework.

Additionally, relevant stakeholders in the industry have finalized work on the Nigerian Templates for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) to establish standards and professional qualifications. Soon, there would be a presentation of the draft templates to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for scrutiny and approval. Likewise, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment would soon present a bill to establish an institutional and regulatory framework that serves as a guide for import-injury investigations and the implementation of trade remedies in the country.

This soon-to-be legislation was projected to help in the protection of Nigeria’s local industries from unforeseen sudden surges in foreign goods’ importations and assist the country to own its rights and obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements. The Ministry has also began the process for the thorough review of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP). The ministry, with this review, would embrace the recent realities of the global economy and development in certain sectors.

Establishment of debt collection offices in Nigerian states.

Furthermore, Adebayo said that a national conference on Bankruptcy and Debt Collection would commence in May 2023. The exercise aims at addressing the identified anomalies in the current Bankruptcy Act Chapter 30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 1990. This correction, through the exercise, would enable development of an institutional and regulatory framework for regulation of business behavior. The new framework would also establish debt collection offices in all 36 states in the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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