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AfCFTA: States should take advantage of continental free trade – FG

FG has advised States to attract investments by taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

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Q1 2020, AfCFTA, African Continental Free Trade Area, Africa Free Trade Agreement, Business new, Nairametrics news

The Federal Government has asked states across the nation should take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in a bid to attract investments to the states for economic productivity.

This was disclosed by Francis Anatogu, Secretary, National Action Committee (NAC) on AfCFTA, while on a courtesy visit to Mr. Asishana Okauru, the Director-General, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on Friday in Abuja.

Anatogu said the FG wants states and private stakeholders to maximize the trade deal to ensure Nigeria takes full opportunity of the African Market.

He added that the FG’s Committee on AfCFTA implementation wants the Governors to implement regional and local policies to integrate the AfCFTA in their states through sponsorship and participation in AfCFTA sensitization programmes.

It is no longer news that we have been clamoring for the diversification of our economy over the years.

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“As a committee, we are now working toward how we as a nation can properly utilize business doors being offered by AfCFTA. The NGF represents the states as good channel to reach out to the state government and that is why we have reached out to it.

“We want them to take advantage of AfCFTA because as a nation, we need to produce what we sell; we need to invest and attract investors. To attract investors, we need good policies, infrastructure, and good conditions for ease of doing business.” 

He added that free trade is important to diversify Nigeria’s economy and all necessary leaders need to be on board. He urged that Governors must provide partnership for coordination at local levels.

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“Trade and all the things around it are very important for the development of our country, so we have to get our principals involved in this project.

“To make any meaningful impact from this project, the sub-national leaders must be involved and the forum we will provide that platform for easy coordination.

“They all know that we have signed this agreement but how to get them involved is very important for the benefit of all,” he said.

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported last week that the FG announced that it ratified Nigeria’s membership to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ahead of the December 5, 2020 deadline. The agreement goes into effect from the 1st of January 2021.

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Yewande Sadiku, CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said in September that Nigeria was more ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), due to her domestic market manufacturing value addition capacity, which is 7 times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa and others.

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Mr. Francis Anatogu, stated earlier that the agreement would reduce the erosion of the naira, which has suffered nearly 90% devaluation since 2016, through exports of Nigerian-made goods and services, and give the naira exposure to other currencies.

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CBN applauds stakeholders on closing financial inclusion gender gap

The CBN has commended stakeholders over concerted efforts in closing the financial inclusion gender gap in Nigeria.

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CBN Deputy Governor applauds stakeholders on their commitment to closing the financial inclusion gender gap in Nigeria.

The Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, and Chairperson of the National Financial Inclusion Technical Committee, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, has applauded stakeholders for their concerted efforts in closing the financial inclusion gender gap in Nigeria. The disclosure was made through a recent Financial Inclusion newsletter released by the CBN.

Nairametrics had earlier reported the launching of the framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria, aimed at complementing existing initiatives of the CBN to expand access to finance for women in Nigeria.

In lieu of this, Mrs. Ahmad thanked all the partners; particularly, Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) and Women’s World Banking (WWB), for collaborating with the CBN on this very important initiative. She also appreciated the efforts of the FISIWG and those of other members of the National Financial Inclusion Technical Committee, comprised of public-private sector stakeholders.

While commending their hard work and dedication towards the successful development of the Framework, she also charged them to thoroughly review and drive the implementation of the Strategic Imperatives presented within the Framework.

(READ MORE: A new MSME Academy is now available for all Africa’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria)

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Why it matters

The framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria is in line with the commitment made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)’s Denarau Action Plan (DAP), which aims to halve the global financial inclusion of gender gap by 2021.

What you should know

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The Framework is meant to compliment some of the existing initiatives of the CBN to advance access to finance for women, some of these initiatives are;

The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF), which earmarked 60% of the fund to women and women-owned enterprises.

The establishment of the Financial Inclusion Special Interventions Working Group (FISIWG) as part of the National Financial Inclusion Governance structure, to address issues relating to the financial inclusion of Women, Youth and Persons with disabilities.

The Deputy Governor highlighted that about 134,000 women have accessed 62% of the MSMEDF, while over N9.5billion has been disbursed to over 3,600 women through the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Equity Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS). Women have also significantly benefitted from other interventions such as; Textile Sector Intervention Facility, Real Sector Support Facility, and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.

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Lagos State begins recruitment for Agripreneurship programme

The Lagos State Government commences the recruitment of eligible and interested candidates for its Lagos Agripreneurship Programme.

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Lagos State begins recruitment for Agripreneurship programme, Sanwo-Olu confirms Abisola Olusanya as new Agriculture commissioner

The Lagos State Government has commenced the recruitment of eligible and interested candidates for the Batches 4, 5, and 6 of its Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP), under its Agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES).

This was disclosed by Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, according to the press release issued by the State Government.

READ: Mile-2 to National Theatre section of Lagos Blue Line Rail project is 98% completed – Contractor

Ms. Abisola Olusanya noted that the programme was in furtherance of the State Government’s objective of training no fewer than 15,000 youths and women in the various agricultural value chains by the year 2023.

She pointed out that the one-month training exercise is aimed at improving capacity, creating wealth, and employment in the agricultural value chains – poultry, piggery, aquaculture and vegetables.

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According to her, the strategic inclusion of the LAP Programme would efficiently reduce unemployment, create jobs and alleviate poverty in the State, as well as attract and pay more attention to the creation of jobs for women in agribusiness.

READ: First City Monument Bank announces the FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch 2020, in partnership with Passion Incubator

Why this matters
According to the information contained in the press release, the training is expected to play a key role in the creation of 2000 Agro-Entrepreneurs who would, in turn, become job creators, promote food security, improve nutrition and general well-being of Lagosians, as well as create at least 4000 indirect jobs per beneficiary annually.

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The programme would also enhance economic activities of surrounding communities, curb the issues of unemployment, and reduce the crime rate within the State.

The initiative is an avid step towards achieving the State’s target of producing at least 25% of the food consumed by residents before the end of the year 2025.

READ: Lagos says 2020 land use charge law is people friendly, introduces self-billing method

What you should know

  • The Lagos Agripreneurship Programme is specifically tailored for men between the ages of 18 and 35 years and women between the ages of 18 and 55 years.
  • Interested and eligible candidates must have a minimum of Senior Secondary School Certificate and must have a passion for agriculture.
  • Candidates are to obtain application forms free of charge at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe; Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Oko Oba, Agege; Lagos Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority, Odogunyan, Ikorodu; Coconut House, Mowo, Badagry and Ministry of Agriculture Area Office, Ajah, Eti Osa between Tuesday, 24th November and Tuesday, 8th December.
  • Candidates are expected to collect and submit application forms between November 24 and December 8, 2020.
  • Interested participants are expected to sit for a written examination on Monday and Tuesday, 14th and 15th of December, 2020, while oral interviews would take place on Friday and Saturday, 18th and 19th December, 2020.
  • Shortlisted successful candidates would start the formal training at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe, on Tuesday, 5th of January, 2021.

READ: DPR shuts down 85 gas plants in Lagos for illegal operations

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What they are saying

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Speaking about the programme, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya said:

Following the training of a total of 400 participants under three batches of the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme, L.A.P, Lagos State will begin the recruitment and shortlisting of interested candidates for the Batches 4, 5 and 6 of the Programme.

READ: Lagos designs eligibility form for businesses to access N1billion seed capital

“The current reality and exigencies of job creation for the teeming youth population and attainment of food security requires that a more aggressive, strategic and efficient approach be employed in the training and empowerment of women and youths if Lagos State is to achieve a significant reduction of unemployment, create more jobs and wealth and also significantly enhance food security in the State by the year 2023.

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AfCFTA: Focus on manufacturing will boost diversification goals – FG

FG has stated that the AfCFTA will provide the platform for a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector.

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FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans, FG says 174,574 successfully register for N75 billion MSME survival fund in 48 hours

The Federal Government announced its commitment to Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and says the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will provide the platform for Nigeria’s diversification dreams, with a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investments, Amb. Mariam Katagum, a commemoration of the 2020 Africa Industrialization Day (AID) in Abuja. The theme is: “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization in the AfCFTA and COVID 19 Era.”

Tuesday’s event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investments (FMITI) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Minister disclosed the FG is aware of the challenges imposed on Nigerian manufacturers due to the pandemic and revealed the FG is doing its best in terms of viable policies, grants, and infrastructure.

The FMITI is a willing partner in providing the necessary enabling environment that will further stimulate industrialization, accelerate domestic and foreign direct investments,” she said.

“It will as well as ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to Nigeria’s Trade and Industrial policy. This year’s event provides the opportunity to deeply reflect on the state of the industrial sector and the apparent weaknesses which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It has become critical, more than ever before for governments at all levels in Africa to dedicate more time, energy, and resources for the growth and development of all categories of industries in the continent.

“A critical testimony to our effective responses to issues was evidenced at the onset of COVID-19 when the FMITI set up an Emergency Operation Center (EOC), which guaranteed unhindered production of goods and services in the industrial sector.

“To complement and sustain these efforts, we are repositioning the ministry to establish a similar response mechanism in all our industrial activities as a buffer to cushion the effects of the COVID- 19 Pandemic,” she said.

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(READ MORE: AfCFTA: States should take advantage of continental free trade – FG)

The Minister added that industrialization will boost Africa’s GDP and job prospects, especially with the ratification of the AfCFTA. She also said that a national focus on manufacturing with the African free trade deal will boost Nigeria’s diversification agenda and move towards a non-oil economy.

It is obvious that the implementation of AfCFTA, with a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector will provide the platform for our quest for diversification to a prosperous non-oil dependent economy.

“Let me assure you that the Federal Government of Nigeria is geared up to meeting the demands of the enlarged continental market, which will be fostered by AfCFTA.

“This will attract more foreign direct investments into key industries and sectors of our economy, especially, where we possess comparative and competitive advantages.

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“The benefits of AfCFTA are quite enormous, some of which include increased food security, through reduction of the rate of protection on trade in agricultural produce amongst African countries,” she said.

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(READ MORE: AfCFTA: Continental free trade will reduce value erosion of naira – FG)

What you should know 

The Federal Government announced that it has ratified Nigeria’s membership to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ahead of the December 5, 2020 deadline. The agreement goes into effect from the 1st of January 2021.

Yewande Sadiku, CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said in September that Nigeria was more ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) due to her domestic market manufacturing value addition capacity, which is 7 times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa and other.

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