LAGOS, JULY 28, 2016 – Federal Government is reviewing trade and investment policies to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Aminu Aliyu-Bisalla, said this at an interactive forum with captains of industries in Lagos on Thursday.
Aliya-Bisalla said President Muhammad Burahi – led administration was planning to implement Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, Nigeria Enterprise Development Programme, Harmonization of Quality Infrastructure and Certification.
He said government had also partnered with organised private sector to ensure a successful review of the policies.
“The government is desirous of addressing these initiatives and programmes, including reforms in the power sector and the review of trade, industry and investment policies.
He said the ministry would also ensure the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“All these policies are geared towards stimulating socio-economic development in the country,” Aliyu-Bisalla said.
The permanent secretary added that the government was aware of the challenges facing the commercial and industrial sector ranging from transport to inability to access loan at single digit.
He said that the economic diversification agenda of the government would not be achieved without the organised private sector.
The minister, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, at the forum, said the administration would partner with the private sector to operate objectively.
Enelamah said to further drive this policy, the Federal Government had set up an inter-ministerial council called the ‘Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council.’
He said the council is led by the Vice President.
“This is to address the challenges, bottlenecks and roadblocks that get in the way of adding value to businesses and take away growth”, Enelamah said.
Mr Paul Angya, Director General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, said it was necessary for people to be able to do business easily, freely and achieve results.
Angya also said that the organisation was developing capacity that would help businessmen to improve standards, laboratories and certification for export.
“The influx of substandard products is a problem to the attempts by the government to improve the economy.
“So, we are renewing our pledge that we will do anything to ensure local industries have access to international markets”, he said.
Dr Jacobs Udemba, National President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said the association was aware of the efforts of government to develop the sector but urged it to do more.
Udemba said the challenges of manufacturers included scarcity of forex to purchase raw materials and that taxes were affecting growth of the sector.
He also noted that VAT increase was not the way forward because it would be disastrous to the sector’s growth.
He said the association was working with the Raw Materials, Research and Development Council to reposition the manufacturing sector.