President Muhammad Buhari has said the Federal Government is reviewing the nation’s investment policy to promote investments that align with the country’s economic development objectives.
Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF), organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), and that his government has also commenced implementation of its willing buyer willing seller policy in the power sector, which has created opportunity for increased delivery of electricity to consumers.
The President, represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said his administration is also revamping the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) with a focus on driving backward integration and increasing geometric production of key products, such as dairy, palm oil, cotton, textile and garment, sugar and automobile.
He said COVID-19 has disrupted businesses across the globe, which led to the present administration launching a N2.3tr sustainability plan to enhance production, support businesses, retain and provide jobs.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, said over the past 43 years, the Fair has become the most prominent trade event that has provided unique opportunities for traders, investors and buyers from different parts of the globe, stressing that the Chamber’s incessant advocacy for friendly fiscal, monetary and trade policies has also been very beneficial in supporting and promoting business growth and economic activities in the country.
“Given the prevailing economic realities, the theme for this year, “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”, is quite instructive and a wake-up call for any discerning government desirous of turning the economy around for the better,’ he said.
He said there was need for small and big businesses to connect with others, if they intend to stay competitive in the long run, especially during this COVID-19 period, maintaining that the use of social media and other online business and market platforms, such as Jumia and Konga, among others, are key tools for promoting businesses and building public trust.
“Leveraging on the strengths of these networking options and several media platforms can substantially raise the flexibility that MSMEs need to compete effectively in today’s volatile and uncertain market,” he noted.
He said towards this end, the State Government is aligning with LCCI on its advocacy for the enthronement of policy consistency through alignment of fiscal and monetary policies to effectively address the myriad of bottlenecks impeding industrialisation, trade and investment in the country.
President, LCCI, Toki Mabobunje, said the theme underscores the importance of relationships and networking among businesses for the purpose of wealth creation.
She said: “Our programmes, advocacy activities and capacity development are geared towards the realisation of economic aspirations. We recognise the imperative of non-oil sector development and the need to add value to our primary products to improve earnings for both public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
She pointed out that the trade fair provides a platform to identify non-oil alternatives and highlights the significance of value addition, just as it serves as an avenue to boost economic and commercial activities
We appreciate the intervention of the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government in mitigating the adverse effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the business environment. We believe the various initiatives in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) will accelerate the pace of economic recovery and put businesses on the path of sustainable growth,” she stated.
She urged the Federal Government to do more to attract more private capital into the economy, advising that the nation’s economic and investment policies must be right, and its institutions investment friendly.