AFREXIM bank reels out strategies to facilitate AfCFTA in Nigeria
By Adebola Adegoke/Franklin Ohaegbu
Lagos, Oct. 10, 2010 The African Export Import Bank (AFREXIM) says it has created trade financing programmes to facilitate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President AFREXIM Bank, made the disclosure at the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria – Export Promotion Group (MANEG) on Thursday in Lagos.
The event was themed: “Leveraging On The African Continental Free Trade Agreement for Export Expansion in Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector”
Oramah, who was represented by Mrs Kanayo Awane, Managing Director, Intra Africa Trade Initiative, said the policies were borne out of the need to upscale the Nigeria’s manufacturing sector in the intra African trade arena.
“Between 1980 and 2018, Asia’s share of contribution to global trade increased from 4.4 per cent to 20 per cent, while Africa’s share fell from 6 per cent to 2.3 per cent.
“The marginalization of Africa in global trade is a consequence of a number of factors.
“Most notably is the continued reliance on the imports of private commodities in a world where global trade is increasingly dominated by manufactured products.
“Private commodities and natural resources continue to account for a significant share of Africa’s total import.
“We have to reposition African economies as competitors rather than collaborators,” he said.
Oramah noted that AfCFTA held phenomenal growth and export opportunities for Nigeria, adding that AFREXIM was working with the African Union to support its implementation in Nigeria.
The programmes include: the Intra African Trade fair; intra african trade investment guarantee facility; franchise investment facility; access to trade information that will enable manufacturers identify likely international buyers of their products .
Oramah, therefore, called on stakeholders in the manufacturing sector to work together to place Nigeria in its rightful place as the largest economy in Africa.
Similarly, the Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Mrs Stella Oketete, said the bank had approved over N54 billion since 2018 to support exporters in the country.
“We also developed a programme to support Small and Medium scale businesses called Small and Medium Export Development Fund.
Oketete said the bank was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria Financial System Strategy 2020 (CBN) and other key stakeholders to promote the introduction of factoring in Nigeria.
“This is a financial inclusion strategy that would be an alternative financing instrument for small and medium scale enterprises, thereby broadening local trade financing instruments,” she said.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman MANEG, Mr Ede Dafinone, lauded the Federal Government for the part payment of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) for the 2017 EEG applications.
He, however, expressed optimism that the Federal Government would pay the balance to exporters.
“Total non-oil export earnings data received through the banks as reported by CBN revealed a marginal increase of 1.5 per cent at the end of 2018.
“The low performance would need for a more export friendly government and in particular the need to restart EEG which is on record as the most successful export incentive deployed by the Federal Government,” he said.
Dafinone also urged the Federal Government to consider opening the border soon to facilitate the exportation of goods. (NAN).
Edited by Wale Ojetimihttps://nnn.ng/afrexim-bank-reels-out/
President Buhari’s UNGA75 National Statement
22ND SEPTEMBER 2020
Ø Mr. President,
Ø Heads of State and Government,
Ø Distinguished Delegates,
Ø Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me on behalf of the Government and good people of Nigeria, congratulate you on your well-deserved election as President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I would like to assure you of Nigeria’s readiness to avail the United Nations all necessary cooperation needed for the fulfillment of your mandate.
2. I wish to also thank the General Assembly for the support accorded His Excellency, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande during his tenure as President of the 74th Session of the General Assembly.
3. We acknowledge the accomplishments of the Assembly under his able leadership, particularly his efforts on attacking global poverty through the Global Coalition on Poverty Eradication.
4. We also commend the tremendous efforts of His Excellency, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in steering the affairs of the organization during this challenging period of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as his strong commitment to making the UN more efficient and responsive in its international responsibility.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
5. It is my privilege to use this opportunity to congratulate Member States on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Over the past seven decades, the United Nations, as the People’s Assembly, has helped to stabilize the global community.
6. In addition to international peace and security, the UN has undertaken programmes on poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, youth development and humanitarian emergencies.
7. The theme of this year’s General Assembly – “The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment To Multilateralism – Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action”, is indeed most appropriate and timely, as it captures our common desire for a renewed and revitalized organization in need of multilateral approaches to the many challenges facing the world.
8. As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need, we must realize that the peoples of the world not only look up to us: they count on us. If the United Nations system cannot mobilize the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the Coronavirus pandemic, then the United Nations would have failed in its core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.
9. The future we want must guarantee human rights, human dignity, human prospects and prosperity. The principles of “Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm” must be expressed through accountability, strategic growth initiatives and elimination of threats of all kinds.
10. In our quest to provide a future of hope and prosperity for Nigerians, our administration has embarked on measures to ensure enhanced national resilience. We intend to achieve this through the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development Plans for the period 2020-2025 and 2026-2030. We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria.
11. Predicated on the values that inspired its creation, the United Nations we need has to remain an agent of progress, by giving expression to the tenets of multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation. It is within the context of this rules-based multilateral order that the world can find solutions to its many problems.
12. The world is currently in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic. Regrettably, our communities and countries are losing lives. The Coronavirus pandemic has devastated the world economy and strained the capabilities of the health system of many countries, including our own country.
13. In the aftermath of Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, we prioritized vulnerable groups, including women, children, older persons and the unemployed, in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio-economic effects of the disease.
14. Accordingly, we have expanded our National Social Register, to include an additional 1 million Nigerians. Our National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 22 million households.
15. I use this opportunity to commend the efforts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization in combating the Coronavirus pandemic.
16. I note, with appreciation, the $2 Billion United States Dollars Global Humanitarian Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary-General to fund the Coronavirus response in the poorest countries of the world.
17. I also commend his call for cease-fire in conflict areas, to enable humanitarian assistance reach groups vulnerable to Coronavirus .
18. I should also state that Nigeria is committed to working with other Member States in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being. Nigeria will continue to partner with the WHO and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all.
19. In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9 Billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives.
20. In addition, we have established a five hundred billion (N500 billion) fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households, while our Central Bank has launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution.
21. The international community will need to cooperate in addressing the scourge of poverty, particularly in developing countries. It is in this regard, that we commend the President of the 74th General Assembly for launching an Alliance for Poverty Eradication in June.
22. We encourage global leaders, particularly leaders from the global North, to support the Alliance at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing gains made in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and is pushing an additional half a billion people into extreme poverty.
23. As we mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Action for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, Nigeria has made significant strides in domesticating the SDGs.
24. There is an ongoing re-alignment of the National Statistical System (NSS) with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs. This is expected to ensure effective tracking and monitoring of the SDGs and guide SDG interventions across the country.
25. Nigeria has also developed its home-grown Integrated Sustainable Development Goals model (iSDG Model) – an analytical framework for assessing how policy-making can better address the indivisible nature of the SDGs.
26. Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa.
27. We urge the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.
28. The litany of sophisticated terrorist attacks across the globe is a harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today. We must therefore redouble our efforts to ensure collective security.
29. In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits. We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN Counter-Terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.
30. We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East. The North-East Development Commission has been established for that purpose.
31. Nigeria is committed to universal nuclear non-proliferation. In this connection, we recall the adoption of the landmark Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which opened for signature on 20 September 2017. Nigeria participated actively in the processes leading to its adoption and was an early signatory and ratifier.
32. With less than ten ratifications needed for the TPNW’s entry into force, we urge other member states who have not done so to quickly ratify the Treaty for the actualization of its important objective.
33. Climate Change is an environmental crisis which requires urgent action. Our Administration is conscious of the fact that the attainment of national development targets would be greatly impeded unless the consequences of climate change are addressed holistically in line with the Paris Agreement.
34. To this end, Nigeria has intensified climate action through the upward review of reduction in greenhouse gas emission under the Nationally Determined Contributions, which are climate change targets under the Paris Agreement.
35. Nigeria remains steadfast in our commitment to the revitalization of Lake Chad. We are convinced that recharging the Lake will improve the living conditions of our people in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience, and assist in addressing environmental and security challenges threatening the region and its resources.
36. Let me, therefore, reiterate the call for international support for the sub-regional efforts to raise the $50 billion USD required to actualize this initiative.
37. Nigeria experiences high internal and external migration due to the size of its population, economic situation and climate. We are therefore fully committed to migration management and prevention of irregular migration and human trafficking.
38. I enjoin the international community to also communicate the positive contributions of migrants, particularly in countries of destination, in order to combat racial discrimination and xenophobic attacks, and facilitate the social integration and protection of migrants.
39. The global aspiration to recover from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic will not be fully met without addressing existing structures that make it more difficult for countries to generate and retain their financial resources.
40. It is in this regard that I thank the immediate past Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and Ambassador Mona Jul, respectively, for jointly launching the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.
41. In the area of human rights, Nigeria has passed a number of human rights-related bills into law. The bills include: the Anti-Torture Act, the Comprehensive Treatment and Care for Victims of Gun-Shot Act, as well as the National Senior Citizens Centre Act. In addition, Nigeria has launched a National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.
42. This measure is designed to strengthen institutions, coordinate the prevention of violent extremism, enhance the rule of law, access to justice and human rights as well as engaging communities and building resilience and integrated strategic communication.
43. The United Nations has made progress in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment through initiatives such as the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), in July 2010, was an important milestone.
44. Nigeria acknowledges the importance of gender equality and recognizes the critical role that women play in development. We also recognize that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and other internationally-agreed Development Agenda depend largely on the empowerment of women. Nigeria will sustain its affirmative stance through women empowerment initiatives.
45. Quality education for all is the cornerstone of sustainable development.
46. In this connection, I am happy to announce that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be hosting the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021.
47. I invite you all to Nigeria to participate in the Conference which aims to advocate for the protection of education from attack as we work together towards the future we want.
48. As we urge and strive for inclusion within our societies, we must also ensure inclusion prevails in our collective action as members of the International Community. Nigeria supports the expansion of the UN Security Council to reflect the diversity and dynamics of the 21st Century. Africa deserves permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.
49. I will conclude by reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to promoting international peace and security and sustainable development, as well as strengthening partnerships and cooperation with international and regional organisations.
I thank you. https://nnn.ng/president-buharis-unga75-national-statement/
Osinbajo inaugurates fashion cluster shared facility for MSMEs in Lagos
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday performed the virtual inauguration of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), the Eko Fashion Hub 1, in Lagos State.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
Osinbajo said that the Federal Government remained deeply committed to creating a more business friendly environment for MSMEs to thrive, as they were the engine room of the Nigerian economy.
According to the Vice President, the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), has in it, a Survival Fund for MSMEs.
“Under the Survival Fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, which will provide up to N50,000 in monthly salaries for up to 10 staff of a qualifying business, for a period of three months.
“There is also a N50,000 grant for 100,000 small and medium-scale businesses, while 333,000 self-employed persons working as artisans and transporters will benefit from a one-off grant of N30,000.
“The President has also approved that the Federal Government bear the full cost of business name registration for 250,000 new businesses nationwide.
“We are doing all these to support MSMEs across the country to maintain their staffing levels and keep their businesses afloat through these very challenging times.”
The Vice President said the Buhari administration’s commitment to the success of small businesses was evident in its MSMEs Clinics initiative.
Osinbajo said that the clinics extended business support services to small businesses across the country, of which the MSMEs Shared Facility Scheme was a core component.
“The Eko facility, which was developed through collaboration between the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government, and the Organised Private Sector, is an end-to-end fashion production centre equipped with needed machinery and will be made available to the public under a shared facility style structure.
“When MSMEs thrive the economy thrives, when they struggle, the economy struggles.
“MSMEs’ Shared Facility Scheme being implemented by the Federal Government under the National MSMEs Clinics seeks to provide high-quality operating equipment, which small businesses can access at a reasonable cost, within a conducive space,’’ he said.
According to the Vice President, the facilities will help to reduce operating costs for users, allowing them to invest the savings in expanding their businesses and hiring more staff.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was physically present at the event in Ikeja, commended the President and Vice President for supporting the scheme.
He said that there were plans to replicate the same in other parts of the state.
There are 161 machines at the EKO facility, including 74 industrial straight sewing machines, 10 industrial steam pressing irons, four monogramming machines, eight industrial button-hole and five industrial button tacking machines.
It also has Tinko and Coil machines, heming and industrial weaving machines, among others.
The Facility has a 100kva standby generator and a 2kva solar power system.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and the Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Tola Johnson joined the event.
Others were the CEO, Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar and Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello.
Dr Lola Akande, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives among other government functionaries also attended the event.
Osinbajo had in June, virtually inaugurated and handed over the 200,000-capacity Yam Storage Facility at the Zaki Biam International Yam Market in Benue State.
He had said there were also plans to establish similar facilities in other parts of the country, including in Kaduna, Anambra and the FCT.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
AfCFTA, veritable platform for trade negotiations—Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that one of the ways by which Africa can maximise benefits is to ensure that trade negotiations with the rest of the world is based on the free trade agreement.
The vice president said that the continent should explore the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in trade discussions rather than deals separately endorsed by regional economic blocs.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the vice president delivered a keynote at the 61st annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) on Friday.
The theme of the virtual event is, “African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Post COVID-19 Era: What Next for Nigeria?”
“One important objective of the AfCFTA is to overcome the economic fragmentation of the continent by bringing the regional economic blocs together in a common arrangement.
“This being the case, African countries should look to negotiating trade treaties with other parts of the world on the basis of AfCFTA rather than through arbitrarily designed regional blocs.
“African countries should not allow themselves to be lured into arrangements which do not serve their long-term development objectives.
“We must, of course, continue to bear in mind, especially here in Nigeria that the AfCFTA is not a magic wand that automatically brings about growth and prosperity.”
“The reality is that if care is not taken, trade liberalization can expose the Nigerian economy to unfair competition and sharp trade practices, with adverse consequences for our producers who might have to close down their businesses, and for our workers who would then lose their jobs.”
According to him, successful implementation of the AfCFTA requires financing to address various implementation challenges and to promote arrangements in support of integration.
He said that in addition to making up for potential losses of tariff revenues, African countries would face implementation costs, including undertaking reforms, establishing new trade-related bodies, improving and upgrading existing facilities.
“Finding the resources to undertake these activities at a time like this when we lack fiscal space will, of course, prove to be very difficult for Nigeria and other African countries.
“Our economists should accordingly help to come up with innovative financing solutions for our economies.
“Apart from reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and mitigating its effect on the domestic economy, Nigeria must have an interest in promoting an AfCFTA that catalyses regional value-chains, enables free movement of people, attracts investments and improves the continental payments system.
“As we seek to use the opportunities, we should remain alert to the need to create conditions that will enable our businesses to be able to compete and thrive within the AfCFTA.
” We can no longer plan without fully considering the AfCFTA; all planning and budgeting documents must take it into account.
On the Federal Government’s N2.3 trillion stimulus package, Osinbajo said the plan was designed to mitigate the shock, tackle the vulnerabilities, create and protect jobs, as well as rescue businesses and reposition the economy.
Prof. Sarah Anyanwu, NES’ President, in her remark, commended both President Muhammadu Buhari and the vice president.
According to her, Osinbajo is a friend of the society because he understands economic development.
The event attracted a host of Nigeria’s leading economists.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza