By Merit Ibe

The Federal Government has disclosed that Nigeria’s international trade is currently doing  in excess of N3.2 trillion between January and June. The Minister of Industry Trade and Investment,  Niyi Adebayo, who made the remark at the ongoing Lagos  International Trade fair, organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) was hopeful  that  with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the country will  do better if its public and private sectors work together.

He noted that the private sector could help boost the demand for Nigerian products by aggressively pursuing value addition and increasing the quality of exported goods originating from the country. 

“This trade fair is a great opportunity to showcase Nigeria’s capacity to produce to international standards and also to export. 

“The AfCFTA agreement will dramatically boost intra-African trade and is expected to deliver an integrated continental market, consisting of 1.3 billion consumers. 

“This is a great oppourtunity for Nigeria. Our international trade is currently doing well with trade surplus between January and June of 2022 in excess of N3.2 trillion. AfCFTA however gives us the oppourtunity to do so much better. To do better the public and private sectors must work together.

“The public sector will continue to drive investment into infrastructure development, encourage access to low-cost financing and provide fiscal incentives to companies wishing to manufacture products for sale. The Federal Government has taken much-needed steps to improve the trading environment,” he said.

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On his part, President, LCCI, Michael Olawale-Cole noted that the  theme for the annual fair, which is “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value,” underscores the importance of relationships and networking among businesses for the purpose of wealth creation. 

He said: “The theme also underlines the value of interactions between producers, service providers and end-users. This is the cardinal objective of the trade fair.” 

He also said while the Nigerian economy has recorded some impressive growth, figures this year showing a sustained recovery of the economy, there were heightening fears of recession, food insecurity and more climate change impacts.

The LCCI boss encouraged investors to continue to demonstrate resilience and determination to forge ahead despite these challenges. 

“As a chamber, we have strong confidence in the Nigerian economy and we believe we would meet our growth target for this year. The LCCI’s trade fairs, specia1ized exhibitions and several business events are some of the many ways we support trade and commerce in the economy.”