The Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum, NEF, says for Nigeria to effectively maximize the economic benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA adequate measures must be put in place for quality packaging of the nation’s non-oil commodities for export.
The President of NEF, Dr Sidney Inegbedion stated this in Abuja during the Leadership Training On Good Corporate Governance, Market Access and Value Chain Development organized by NEF for Hrads of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria.
Dr. Inegbedion said Nigeria is blessed with abundant agricultural commodities and resources needed to boost her economic growth in the international market if effectively harnessed.
According to him, the training is part of NEF strategies of enhancing the leadership of small holder farmers through productive corporate governance and value chain development.
He stated that the country also needs to strengthen her capacity of processing for export purposes to African countries and other global commuity that require Nigeria’s agricultural commodities.
“We realized that most of the members of these Associations are in the hinterlands with little or no education but they are the people that produce what we eat and can be packaged for export hence the need for sound leadership in line with the economic agenda of the present administration which tend to focus on agriculture” he stressed.
The President of NEF explained that the Forum would continue to embark on programmes that would contribute to national economic development.
Dr. Inegbedion therefore advised Government at all levels to ensure infrastructural development of the country to enable producers of agricultural produce transport their products from rural areas to the city.
He equally advocated for funding mechanism to enable farmers have access to low interest loan to boost their productivity.
“Government needs to use some of these agricultural commodities Associations to grow the economy in terms of reaching the actual people because when Government comes up with laudable programmes the elites sit on these programmes without reaching the actual beneficiaries” Dr Inegbedion complained.
He emphasized the need for more public private sector collaboration in enhancing the growth of MSMEs for economic development.
In a remark, the National Auditor of Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria FACAN Mr Musa Wamba commended Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum for the training saying it would go a long way to enhance the capacity of its members.
Mr Wamba said FACAN would continue to collaborate with necessary stakeholders in boosting the productivity of its members.
He called for more Government intervention in FACAN activities to aid the diversification of the nation’s economy.
In a paper presentation titled “Achieving Organizational Goals In An Era of Change: Perspective On Effective Leadership Through Good Corporate Governance”, a Leadership Training Expert Mr Steve Attah called for training and retraining of Heads of the Agricultural Associations towards realizing the developmental objectives of the country.
He therefore advised the participants to put into practice what they have learnt for improved productivity.
Highlights of the training were tour of exhibition booths and stands, networking and presentation of certificates to participants.