By Franca Ofili
Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation,says there is need to provide more funding for the Ministry of Industry,Trade and investment to be able it function efficiently.
Oyo-Ita said this in Abuja on Thursday, during the peer review visit of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and a team of Permanent Secretaries to the ministry.
she said the ministry needed to be funded to interact more with other trade professionals of other countries for better trade negotiation engagements.
She added that it would also help the ministry to be abreast of international best practices to actualise the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
“You really need a lot of funding in the ministry because as you move out, you are able to engage with other international players for trade negotiations and be abreast of International best practices in trade,” Oyo-Ita said
She promised to discuss with the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment and that of Finance to see the possibility of adding 10 per cent of the ministry’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to support the ministry.
Mr Edet Akpan, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment said that the ministry realised the sum of N730, 700 million out of the projected revenue of N807, 280 million in 2017.
He said the ministry was committed to driving the nation’s policy thrust in the Ease of Doing Business for which the World Bank recently ranked the nation to have improved from the previous position of 169 to 145.
Akpan, while presenting the scorecard of the ministry, said its target was to get the country to be among the first 100 in the world in the Ease of Doing Business ranking.
He said with the present administration, the Corporate Affairs Commission had achieved 48 hours turnaround time for business registration, resolution of customer’s enquiry and data requests, which was now being done online.
Akpan said the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) in the ministry had made remarkable progress in the areas of cement industry, sugar, Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG), Tomatoes and Auto assembly industries.
“The progress was achieved through value addition in the sub-sectors, implementation of incentives such as the zero duty on machineries and equipment, and concessionary imports for investors in the cement industry and raw sugar,” he said.
Akpan said patronage of local textile and garments, improved seedlings for cotton production and competitiveness in all segments of Nigerian Cotton, Textile and Garment sector were being encouraged.
He added that some textile industries which were moribund in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna had been revived.
According to him, investment in the industry has increased significantly with some private sectors and State Governments like Cross River, Kwara and Osun States participating in the industry.
Akpan added that production in tomatoes had increased to about six million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA), and that the drive was to ensure processing of three million MTPA.
The Permanent Secretary also revealed that other gains from interventions during his tenure included resuscitation of moribund local production plants and the emergence of new processing plants.
According to him, the ministry is working through the sensitisation of stakeholders and collaboration with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to improve quality, packaging and certification integrity to achieve zero rejection of the nation’s agro produce.(NAN)