• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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FG, Lagos partner to stimulate agro-industrial development

FG, Lagos partner to stimulate agro-industrial development

…Train MSMEs on production for export

The Lagos State government, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment has inaugurated the Lagos operation office of the Nigeria Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Development Initiative (NAADI), aimed at stimulating investments in the sector.

Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, commissioner for commerce, cooperative, trade & investment, said the opening of the office was also part of the requirements for the domestication of NAADI at the state level.

Represented by Zulikha Ibraheem, director of cooperatives services, during the two-day event from Monday 29 to Tuesday 30, January 2024, Ambrose-Medebem noted that the coming of NAADI to Lagos marked a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s journey towards economic diversification and sustainable development.

“This initiative, driven by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and aims to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector into a cornerstone of industrial and economic prosperity, rightly aligns with the fourth pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration which is making Lagos a 21st-century economy.”

The commissioner also acknowledged Lagos’ significant role in creating an environment conducive to the growth and innovation of the agribusiness sector, including investments in infrastructure, policy reforms, and capacity building.

“Lagos will use the platform of NAADI, with its broad scope that spans various agro-based and agro-allied industries to diversify the state’s productive base, reduce import dependence, stimulate job creation, promote exports, and enhance the profitability of agribusiness and agro-industry investments. The programme targets a wide range of beneficiaries, from small producers to large-scale enterprises,” she said.

She highlighted the alignment of NAADI with the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), reflecting the government’s commitment to turning agricultural potential into high-value industrial products, thus driving economic stability and growth.

Nura Rimi, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, represented by Sadiq Ahmed, head, export commodities coordinating committee, Lagos, expressed confidence in the successful implementation of NAADI in Lagos, given the state’s strides in agricultural development.

“The initiative aims to stimulate equity investment flows, diversify the agro-industrial base, reduce import dependency, support SMEs, and increase exports of value-added goods. The Lagos State office will coordinate stakeholder activities, provide leadership, and mobilise key players for the programme’s success. The ministry promises to create an enabling environment, facilitate stakeholder linkages, and ensure NAADI’s sustainability,” he said.

At the event, several MSME operators were trained on export procedures and documentation by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), quality assurance requirements for export by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), funding windows for export in Nigeria by NEXIM Bank, and how to prepare bankable business proposal by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).