federal government has pledged a far reaching reforms and unveiled ambitious growth plans at the ongoing trade dialogue in a bid to unlock economic potential and foster diversification. The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, addressing the Nigeria Trade Dialogue, painted a picture of a nation at a “crucial juncture” in its economic trajectory, pledging bold reforms and highlighting promising trade opportunities. “We find ourselves at a pivotal point, navigating an interconnected global economy,” she declared. “Trade is a catalyst for growth and development, and this dialogue is a platform to forge partnerships that **propel Nigeria towards a prosperous trade regime.”
Acknowledging economic challenges, Uzoka-Anite emphasized the importance of President Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope Agenda,” which prioritises trade as a driver of the economy. This agenda, she stated, aims to attract foreign investment, boost exports, and create jobs through a “stable, transparent, and clear regulatory framework.” Harnessing Nigeria’s abundant natural and human resources is another key focus, with the government prioritising value-addition in non-oil exports to enhance competitiveness and increase foreign exchange earnings. The country’s young and tech-savvy population also represents a significant advantage, Uzoka-Anite said. Nigeria’s economic strength was not lost on the audience. As the largest economy and market in Africa, with a GDP of N52.1 trillion, the country is poised for significant growth. The National Bureau of Statistics reported positive trade figures for the second quarter of 2023, with exports increasing by 8.15% and a trade balance of ₦1,289.46 billion.
Progress on key regulatory reforms was a point of pride for Uzoka-Anite. She cited the reviewed Nigeria Trade Policy document (2023-2027), the updated model for bilateral investment agreements, and the establishment of the National Quality Council (NQC) as examples of the government’s commitment to improving the business environment. Additionally, substantial investments in infrastructure and recognition by the IMF as one of the most improved countries in ease of doing business were highlighted as positive developments. Uzoka-Anite urged the audience to focus on the opportunities presented by Nigeria’s trade sector. The theme of the dialogue, “Trade as a catalyst for economic diversification,” served as a call to action, encouraging stakeholders to leverage trade for growth and collaboration. With a declared commitment to reforms, a focus on key resources, and a positive outlook on the future, Nigeria’s Trade Minister painted a compelling picture of a nation on the rise. The Nigeria Trade Dialogue provided a platform for forging partnerships and exploring opportunities, potentially paving the way for a prosperous future driven by trade.