Reps To Investigate Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange Policy

Reps, Foreign Exchange, NigeriaIn a bid to find ways to stabilize the foreign exchange market in Nigeria, an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives, is to meet with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bureau De Change, banks and other establishments operating in the sector.

This was one of the resolutions reached by lawmakers when considering a motion on the lingering scarcity of foreign exchange in the country.

The house has also mandated the committee to know the establishments that have obtained foreign exchange at subsidized rates from the Central Bank and how the funds were spent.

According to the report read by a member of the House of Representatives , Ali Isa, despite the “CBN’s weekly release of forex to the BDC’s and banks, the value of the Naira against the dollar and pounds sterling, continues to depreciate, further worsening the economic conditions of the country”.

The continuous weakening of the Naira against the dollar, has “affected the production of goods services and has consequently made life more difficult for most Nigerians,” the report stated.

The committee is however expected to report back in four weeks.

Businesses shut Down

One of such businesses affected by a prolonged scarcity of foreign exchange is Tomato Paste Producer, Erisco Foods Limited.

The CEO of the company, Eric Odinaka Umeofia on Wednesday said he would have to shut down his factories if the situation persists.

He added that his company has been frustrated by the National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC), Ministry of Trade and Investment and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Mr. Umeofia like many other business owners said the stifling business conditions would result in him having to lay off 1,500 of his 2,052 employees.

The recession, combined with a shortage of dollars, and short aviation fuel supply have also had a major impact on the aviation sector with airlines winding down operations.

Buhari To Introduce Fresh Policies To Enhance Business

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration will soon introduce more policies to further ease the process of doing business in Nigeria.

Speaking after a presentation at the Presidential Villa on ‘Enhancing Nigeria’s Trade and Economic Competitiveness’ on Monday, the President said that the new policies would be focused on increasing efficiency and transparency in government operations and the blocking of leakages from revenue generating agencies.

In a statement issued by President Buhari’s spokesperson, the President said that his administration remains fully committed to closing all the loopholes in the revenue generating agencies, increasing their efficiency in trade facilitation and ensuring transparency in all government businesses so as to attract greater foreign direct investments into the country.

The President added that the Nigeria Customs Service, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Finance and other relevant agencies would be encouraged to adopt some of the positive ideas contained in the presentation for implementation in 2016.

A representative of the company that made the presentation, Mr Lim Chee Boon, had told President Buhari that virtually all the countries that implemented its solutions have successfully reduced corruption in their import and export processes.

Governor Ikpeazu Swears-In 20 Commissioners

IkpeazuThe Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has sworn in 20 Commissioners into his cabinet. The commissioners comprises of three women and seventeen men – Four of whom have served in previous administrations.

The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahiaon Monday.

Administration’s Five Pillars

According to the Governor, the men and women assigned to be part of the executives were carefully chosen, based on their precedence and assurance that they would deliver in their various ministries, supporting the administration’s drive to turn around the fortunes of the state.

Governor Ikpeazu also promised to give the new commissioners all that they needed to perform. He also urged them to cue into the administration’s emphasis on the five pillars of agriculture, environment, commerce, trade and oil and gas, to drive the economy of the state.

Their appointment, according to the Governor, is a privilege, as the state can boast of many qualified men and women who could occupy the same position, if given a chance.

Governor Ikpeazu also said that with priority to enhance economic development, his administration in the new dispensation had divided the Ministry of Commerce into two – the Ministry of Trade and investment and Ministry of Industry.

Some of the new commissioners thanked the Governor for finding them fit to serve and pledged their readiness to support the upliftment of the state.

FG Sets Up Panel To Enhance Export Of Made In Nigeria Goods

Nigerian_IndustryThe Federal Government has taken steps to improve the quality of made in Nigeria goods in order to make them attractive for export into the international market.

A Technical Committee has been set up by the Ministry of Trade and Investment under the EU funded National Quality Infrastructure Project to work out strategies that will reposition Nigerian products for exports.

According to the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Abdulkabir Musa, it is high time for comparative trade between Nigeria and her partners.

Nigeria’s Infrastructural Deficit Is A “Gold Mine” Aganga Tells Polish PM

The Ministry of Trade and Investment today labelled the infrastructural deficit in the country as a ‘gold mine’.

The Ministry, led by the Minister, Mr. Olugbenga Aganga, made this known to Polish businessmen during an interactive session to discuss business opportunities in the country.

Aganga listed power, solid minerals, agriculture and construction among others as viable sectors for investments.

Prime Minister of Poland, Mr Donald Tusk, expressed his interest in having both nations take advantage of their strengths to build more successful and diverse economies.

Tusk noted that the move by Nigeria towards industrialization should be seen as a huge opportunity for foreign investors.

The two nations signed several agreements after the session to cement the bi-lateral talks.

A letter of intent with Bayelsa state government was also signed on the development of projects in maritime education.

 

Canadian Envoy Urges FG To Protect Foreign Investors

The Canadian Minister of International Trade, Mr. Ed Fast has urged the federal government to ensure that foreign investments in Nigeria are protected as part of efforts to further attract foreign direct investment into the country.

Speaking in Abuja at a Bi-National Trade Meeting, Mr. Fast, who led a trade mission to Nigeria, gave the assurance that the Canadian government will provide the necessary technology and expertise that can help developing countries advance and manage their natural resources responsibly while fostering prosperity, job creation, poverty reduction and good governance.

Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who played host to Mr Fast, said Nigeria will continue to explore trade relations with friendly nations as part of federal government’s efforts to transform the nation’s economy.

He added that Nigeria is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa and the federal government will explore the strength inherent in the economies of both countries.

 

Abuja Commodity Exchange to commence use of ware house receipt system in 2013

The federal government has commenced the process of transforming the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange into a first-class commodity exchange as part of the Ministry of Trade and Investment’s plan for the nation’s industrial revolution.

The transformation is expected to be completed in the next 12 months and it will entail the use of ware house receipt system to help farmers.

During a sensitization workshop in Abuja on Thursday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and investment, Mr, Dauda Kigbu revealed that the Ministry has already initiated reforms aimed at making the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange a world class institution.

This he claimed is in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Mr. Kigbu added that the development of the ware house receipt system would boost the operations of the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange and also help farmers overcome the problem of post-harvest loss.

A ware house receipt system enables farmers to use their stored commodities to secure credit from banks and other financial institutions.

Jonathan assures investors of sustainable partnership for economic growth

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday assured investors and prospective investors in the country of his administration’s commitment and total support to reposition the nation’s economy.

Speaking while declaring open the first edition of the 2012 Oil and Gas Trade and Investment forum at Onne, Rivers state, President Jonathan said, the nation’s economy will soon be one of the leading economies of the world in the year 2020.

He noted that the initiative is part of his administration’s transformation agenda anchored on the belief that the private sector is the engine of economic growth and prime mover of the economic reform process.

Represented by the Rivers state governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF), Chibuike  Amaechi, President Jonathan explained that government had come up with policies, plans and programmes geared towards the reduction or outright elimination of bottlenecks to business and investment through harmonisation of Nigeria’s trade procedures and documentations, promising to provide investment friendly environment.

He also expressed confidence in the capability, imagination and commitment of the operators of the Free Trade Zones to achieve the desired goal of putting the country among the top twenty economies in the world by the year 2020.

The president commended the Rivers state governor, the executive governors of the oil producing states as well as the federal ministry of trade and investment for the achievement and the success of Onne Free Trade Zone and for promoting Public-Private Partnership through collaboration and formation of strategic alliance.

President Jonathan noted that the event is part of activities lined up for the celebration of Nigeria’s independence anniversary scheduled to take place on 1 October which provides an opportunity to keep investors informed of government’s commitment to the implementation of economic reforms capable of changing the dynamics of the country.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said, the oil and gas industry has continued to play a dominant role in the growth of the Nigerian economy, as it is central and strategic to defining transformation strategy for the national economy.

Mr Aganga, who expressed the federal government’s commitment to the free zone concept, noted that it is anchored on the effective framework of regulations and guidelines which delivers the best dividends to investors as well as the host economy.

The oil and gas free zone has attracted several investors into the zone and has created a total of 30,000 jobs from inception to date.

The federal government on its part has promised to remain focused and determined to ensure President Jonathan’s vision is realized.