The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Thursday, sensitized stakeholders of the North East region on a signed trade agreement between Nigeria and her trading partners in Bauchi.
Dr Nasir Gwarzo, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, represented by senior Adviser Administration, Alhaji Dauda Mohammmed, said in Bauchi that the essence of the workshop was to avail the stakeholders the benefits of the signed trade agreement.
He said the participants would be availed the ample opportunities provided by the trade agreements to promote trade, industry, investment, as well as export.
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“The difficulties associated with taking advantage of the signed trade and investment agreements by our private sector stakeholders whom the agreements were being negotiated and signed for.
“Which might be owing to non-awareness of the existence of the signed agreements by the stakeholders, lopsided negotiation and ratification challenges, would now be much clearer through this event.
“It would, therefore avail us the privilege to identify opportunities and challenges of those signed trade agreements,” he said.
Gwarzo stressed that it’s imperative to underscore that countries are increasingly focusing attention to the conduct of both domestic and international trade engagements.
“Through strengthening trade policies to deepen the quality and capacity to deliver on strategies objectives,” he said
He explained that Nigeria entering into trade agreements with other countries is primarily to facilitate and develop trade relations on the basis of reciprocity,
Gwarzo also stressed that the task of transforming Nigeria into an industrial giant can best be achieved in cooperation with the private sector stakeholders.
Earlier, Mr Zakariya Ishaku, the deputy director, trade, of the ministry, explained that the workshop underscores the importance the ministry attaches to the private sector as drivers of the economy and partners in sustainable development.
He explained that Nigeria has signed some trade agreements, investment promotion and protection agreements, multilateral agreements, organisation of Islamic Cooperation Agreement (OIC), African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),
“Memorandum of Understanding, to mention but few with her trading partners. This is with a view to enhancing our trade and economic cooperation.
“This is an opportunity for strategic collaboration and engagement between the public and the private sector stakeholders to harness benefits of signing the trade agreements.
“Hence, there is a need to create synergy for the implementation, and awareness among our business communities who are the end users of the signed agreements.”
Mr Ishaku pointed out that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration underscores the role of the private sector as a driver of the economy.