The Guardian: EU to help reposition Nigeria’s economy by providing trade infrastructure

MR Juan Casla, the Head, Economic Governance and Trade Cooperation, European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said EU was willing to help review the Nigeria Trade Policy (NTP) and Strategy to reposition the economy.

Casla told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the new policy would focus on diversifying export, a more value added production and industrialised products in Nigeria.

“Nigeria cannot rely much longer on export of oil; so it should try to diversify export.

“The structure should also try to have a more added value added production and focus on industrialised products in Nigeria.

“And apart from that, it will involve getting Nigeria more involvement in the regional integration processes that is taking place in the ECOWAS.

“So these are the three important elements that are going to determine this trade policy we believe,” he said.

He said that the EU was aware of the country’s industrial revolution plan adding that important structures needed to be in place to enable the country to actualise the plan.

Casla said EU, in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), was improving the quality of infrastructure in the country.

According to him, the objective of this project is how we can improve the Nigerian infrastructure to improve the quality of its products, particularly industrial products.

“We are working on an important project with our partner UNIDO and the objective of this programme is to improve the Nigerian infrastructure to improve the quality of its products, particularly industrial products.

“There needs to be a strong standardisation agency and there needs to be good information about standards for private companies.

“There needs to be a good system of laboratories that provides quality testing of industrial products so that they can be available for domestic consumption and exports.

“There should be a good accreditation system by which the public authorities can identify that this laboratory is good and that its tests can be accepted by the market,” he said.

The EU representative said the organisation was also supporting the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment with technical assistance in many fronts in line with its cooperation programmes with Nigeria.

Casla said the EU was determined to get Nigeria involved more in regional economic integration processes that Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was currently carrying out.

According to Casla, ECOWAS is currently undergoing a very ambitious trade liberalisation process that involves elimination of customs barriers and harmonisation of standards.

He said that trade between Nigeria and regional countries would increase with the country’s focus on diversification of export products.(NAN)

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