Home Agriculture/Environment Trade Minister urges Delta to explore potentials in oil palm, aquaculture

Trade Minister urges Delta to explore potentials in oil palm, aquaculture


Trade Minister urges Delta to explore potentials in oil palm, aquaculture 

The  Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo, has urged the Delta State government to explore the potentials in oil palm, aquaculture and other products in a larger African market.

The minister represented by the Director of Trade in the ministry, Mr Aliyu Abubakar, stated this at a news briefing on Wednesday in Asaba.

The minister, who led the National Action Committee (NAC) on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) on a 2-Day tour of Delta, said Delta was the number six state visited to discuss the opportunities that abound for made in Nigeria products in the larger African market.

Adebayo said that the agreement provided platform to ensure that every product has origin, while assuring that Nigeria would not become a dumping ground for  unidentified products from other Africa countries.

He said that the mechanism for settlement and dispute resolutions were also in place to ensure peace among African countries.

According to the minister, other countries through the agreement have agreed to liberalise 90 per cent of the products to the market.

“While the remaining 10 per cent is left under special and sensitive products that they may wish to keep.

“But the main objective of the agreement is to liberalise trade so that African countries can trade more among themselves and through that African economies will be integrated.

“As regarding the flooding of the market with substandard products, there are mechanism in place in the agreement.

“The rules of origin is a criteria where participating countries  must source their products locally. There is also provision to guard against transhipment of products outside African market.

” I will not speak for Delta but as a state, they have a major stake, products and services that are competitive and they can key into the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and export them,” he said

He, however, said that the committee encouraged processing of raw materials  and value addition rather than export of raw materials.

“That is why we are working with state government’s to identify products of comparative advantage to ensure that all the various programmes and initiatives on exports  will add value to enable it go into African market,” Adebayo said.

Also, the Secretary of the Committee and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Sector Matters, Mr Francis Anatogu, said that AfCTAN came to grow the African market like the intra- European market.

According to him, the EU intra-trade is about 65 per cent while Africa, is about 15 per cent.

“So, the AfCTAN is about growing trade in Africa. Why we are here is working in every  state to develop what they are going to sell in Africa.

He noted that while addressing the  products and services for exports, issues of competitiveness and  infrastructure; power, transportation, trade barriers, others would be addressed.

On his part, the Chief Economic  Adviser to  Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, Dr Kingsley Emu, lauded the committee and the AfCTA for getting the country to sign in.

He said that it was an opportunity for private individuals to explore the opportunities at the larger market.

According to Emu, the demand push or pull, particularly when there is an off taker agreement, it is a game changer for the private sector.

He said that the trade and job creation ability of the agreement would be unprecedented in Africa.

In their various submissions, the Delta Chief Jobs Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, Executive Assistant and Coordinator, Export Initiative in Delta, Mrs Shimite Bello and Mr Paul Nma, of  Delta State Investment Development Agency, assured that there were several products that could go into African market from the state.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.