By Maureen Okon
The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) has promised to create enabling environment for commodity markets to grow both locally and internationally.
The Permanent Secretary of FMITI, Dr Evelyn Ngige, said this at the official inauguration of 11 new associations into the National Commodity Associations of Nigeria held in Abuja.
Ngige said that Nigeria was ranked highest in terms of production of agricultural commodities, attributed to its vast and fertile arable lands, adding that the value addition to the commodities before marketing was the problem.
“Most of our commodities are exported in their raw forms thereby, robbing the nation of jobs and wealth, which would have been created if they have been processed here in Nigeria.
“It is in recognition of this ugly trend that the ministry is interested in nurturing and forming national commodity associations across value chain.
“To ensure linkage and synergy among the key players in various commodity subsectors as well as to encourage value addition,” she said.
Ngige also, urged new members of the association to always work hard towards the efficient attainment of their aims and objectives, especially in value addition which would contribute to the national growth and development.
Also speaking, Suleiman Audu, Director, Commodities and Export Department in the ministry, said that the Federal Government’s objectives in nurturing and establishing the association was to build strong institutional and human capacity.
“That is central to planning, managing, coordinating and monitoring of activities in the nation’s commodity value chain.
“It is essentially, to capture the need of various stakeholders, such policy makers, producers, in-put and out-put traders, processors and consumers and others involved in business of agric-commodity sector,” he said.
Dr Victor Iyama , the President of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN), said that the association started with 15 associations which currently it has 75 members of the associations.
He added that, today it had added 11 more associations and many are on the waiting list of being certified.
According to him, business has no age limit or retirement age as long as one was in good health, they are not only producing food but bringing trade and investment into the country’s economy.
After the inauguration, the President of Bambara Nut Producers, Processors and Marketers , Igwe Ezedioramma Aniagu, told NAN that the association had done well in research and development of Bambara nut.
Aniagu added that, the association in its tireless drive for more door to door approach to the use of Bambara nut products, as a solution to world hunger saw it necessary for the ministry’s approval and launch.
“I want to assure all stakeholders and members of this great association that we shall keep our eyes to the actualisation of all that are expected of the association to aid the solution to world hunger.
“The association has a huge budget for the upcoming planting season in anticipation of achieving about two to three metric tones of Bambara nut output in the next harvest season,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola