Highlights roadmap for sustainable policy reforms
By Ebunoluwa Sessou
In a bid to open up opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, and highlight the gains within the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA, for women Center for International Private Enterprise, CIPE launched a survey brief to showcase a roadmap for MSMEs for sustainable policy reforms.
This survey as disclosed by the organizer is to foster greater standardisation and integration in MSMEs as a way to explore all opportunities embedded within Africa territories and Nigeria’s economy.
AfCFTA in collaboration with other stakeholders known as Organized Private Sector of Nigeria, OPSN comprised of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, NACCIMA, Nigeria Association of Small-Scale Industrialists, NASSI, among others recently held a virtual meeting to launch the survey brief to bridge the gap that exists in the MSMEs and African Trade
This gap as observed has hindered total participation and gains embedded in the African trade for MSMEs to benefit hence the launch of the survey report.
According to the survey, MSMEs remain critical constituents of the Nigerian economy as they represent about 96 percent of Nigerian businesses and contribute 75 percent to national employment. It went on to add that MSMEs can benefit from greater access to new markets and the possible economic transformation that competition could promote.
Focusing on four key sectors, wholesale and retail trade, the agricultural and food processing sector, manufacturing and service sectors, CIPE said these sectors were selected given their high business potential and contributions to GDP, employment, and exports. Decrying the low level of awareness regarding the existence of the agreement among MSMEs, it said there is a general optimism surrounding the prospective effects of its implementation among the minority aware of the agreement.
Director of education, Governance Research, Center for the Study of Economies of Africa (CSEA), Dr Adedeji Adeniran, said modest positive welfare gains to Nigeria with machinery, other transport, textile and metal products as well as textile industries account for most of the positive effects on real wage with the agreement.
Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the MSMEs and identifying ways of mitigation that could facilitate an expedited and efficient implementation of AfCFTA in Nigeria, 25 percent of surveyed businesses reported that the pandemic significantly impacted their preparations for AfCFTA; 46 percent experienced the significant effect of the pandemic on their future expansion plans to export abroad and 63 percent experienced significant effects of the pandemic on plans to import from abroad.
As LITFC ED tasks traders on COVID-19 compliance
Executive Director of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, LITFC, Management Board, Lucy Ajayi, has urged traders to comply with the COVID-19 protocol even as they continue their day to day businesses.
She made the plea during an inspection exercise at the ongoing local Christmas Fair at LITFC calling on the traders not to jeopardize their health rather they should comply with the specified health precautionary measures and ensure their safety during the yuletide transactions is secured.
Speaking with newsmen during the aborted visit of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Nasir Sani-Gwarzo to the LITFC, Ajayi disclosed that the visit has been rescheduled for another day.
Ajayi explained that the trade fair exhibition during Yuletide season is an avenue to bolster commerce for individuals to showcase their goods at affordable prices to showcase for intending customers.
According to Ajayi “We are having our Christmas local fair. I urge traders to comport themselves and ensure a maximum guarantee of their wellbeing, the second wave of Coronavirus is rocking some parts of the world and we being an International Trade Center must be cautious.
“I urge them all to align with COVID-19 protocols including washing of hands with soap and running water, sanitizing, wearing of nose masks and more, to keep at bay the scourge of the virus, health is wealth”, she said.