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TRADE CONTRIBUTES 19.29% TO GDP -AGANGA

By NBF News
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Minister of Trade and Investment has disclosed that trade contributes 19.29 per cent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Speaking at the ministerial platform, yesterday in Abuja, in commemoration of National Democracy Day and first anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan's Administration, the Minister, Olusegun Aganga urged key partner countries and Nigerian business leaders to develop interest in the Nigerian market.

The minister reassured the mission of the ministry to formulate and implement policies and programmes to attract investments, boost industrialization, increase trade and export and develop enterprise.

He said the ministry is sanitising trade activities and revenue, thereby using trade to reduce unemployment, create new jobs and generate new wealth in line with global best practice of trade-led poverty reduction and economic growth.

Also, the multi-focus trade strategy include; formalizing Nigeria's trade in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.

Aganga lamented that more than 80 per cent of manufactured industrial and household goods consumed in the ECOWAS sub-region are claimed to originate from Nigeria but less than 20 per cent of this is formalized. He encouraged the sustainability of existing market for non-oil exports, creating new export markets for non-oil exports and improvement on the standards of Nigeria's export products. 'We have the raw materials and market, it is now time to realize our aspiration to become an industrialized nation,' he noted.

The ministry has also completed the development of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan , which provides the road map for at least 100 per cent local production of sugar. According to him, this would produce 1.7 million metric tons of sugar, 161.2 million litres of ethanol, 400MW of electricity, 1.6 million tons of animal feeds, 38,000 permanent jobs and 79,803 seasonal jobs.

The minister disclosed that the ministry has a focus on the petrochemical industry to maximize the value chain and its contribution to not just government revenue, but also GDP and employment. Aganga stated that government's target is to train 500,000 youths annually from 2013 on industrial skills. He added that the drive is backed by government policy and will involve private sector in designing and reviewing the curriculum and in the apprenticeship programme and work placement.