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By Favour Nnabugwu
National Assembly has failed to ratify bilateral agreements which the country reached with over 40 other nations across the globe. The failure of the legislators to ratify the over 40 protocols and bilateral agreements has set back the nation's economic advancement.

This was revealed by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC which is pleading with the lawmakers to ratify these agreements in the interest of the country.

Executive Secretary, Engr. Mustafa Bello while addressing members of Nigerian Youths Parliaments led by Speaker, Honourable Abdullahi Mairasira who paid him a courtesy call, urged them to use their legislative powers to influence the National Assembly on the need to ratify bilateral agreement the country reached with other nations, noting that Nigeria will continue to loose the benefits accruable from those Agreements if not ratified.

He called on the legislators to ratify all Protocols and Bilateral Agreements that Nigeria has entered into with other countries. Engr Bello said there are over 40 of such agreements on trade, investment and other related matters that are aimed at advancing the nation's economy which are yet to be ratified by the National Assembly. He urged the youths as leaders of tomorrow to work on those polices and programmes that will help to promote and advance the economic and political development of the country.

The NIPC boss who congratulated the Principal Officers on their election further enjoined them to work with the Federal Government to bring about the realisation of the 'Job Creation Scheme' programme in order to ensure that youths are gainfully employed.

While advising Youths to shun all vices that will retard their own progress and the country at large, he said with the successful implementation of the World Bank Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (MSME) programme coordinated by the Commission, the NIPC can successfully assist the Federal Government to ensure that Youths are gainfully employed.

Engr. Bello also said that the World Bank MSME programme that was piloted in three states of the Federation in Lagos, Abia and Kaduna made over one million Artisans and other small business entrepreneurs to have successfully improved on their businesses through the loan obtained from the scheme.

He stressed that 'If NIPC is given the opportunity to coordinate the Job Creation Scheme programme of the Federal Government, it will use the experience gained from the World Bank MSME programme to ensure that employment are provided to the teeming unemployed youths in the country'.

He further called on the Federal Government and the World Bank to revisit the programme and provide the needed fund to promote the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (MSME) which are corner stone to economic development and employment generation in other parts of the country, as the pilot scheme that ended in December 2011 was adjudged very successful.

He maintained that investment promotion and facilitation remains the key to economic transformation of any country, adding that 'NIPC will continue to market the abundant investment opportunities that abound in the country to both local and international investors; advocate for good policies that will enhance friendly and conducive investment climate and ensure that Nigeria regains its economic glory in the comity of nations.

The establishment of the One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC), he explained has removed all bottlenecks associated with the process of doing business in the country.

In his response, the Youth Parliaments Speaker, Honourable Abdullahi Mairasira commended the NIPC for its effort in transforming the nation's economy through investment promotion and facilitation. He noted with satisfaction the establishment of OSIC in the Commission, which according to him has led to quick and speedy business registration and reduce the long process usually associated with doing business in the country. He said the Parliament has set up a Committee on Trade and Investment and solicited for NIPC's support and partnership.

He stated that the Parliament which was inaugurated in 2008 by the Late President, Alhaji UmaruYar'Adua has been involved in number of activities, especially 'Youth Empowerment' and was in the fore front of Amnesty granted to the Niger Delta Militias, stressing it has membership in 109 Senatorial Districts of the Country.