In furtherance of plans to deliver the vision of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the Chairman, National Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Export Group, Mr. Kola Awe., has said the proposed NACCIMA Processing Plan (NPP) would boost economic growth through development of local content.
Awe made this statement during the inauguration of the NACCIMA Export Group (NEG) Cooperative thursday.
Speaking with journalists, Awe said the NPP, the focal project of the cooperative, was coming at a most crucial time following the proposed implementation of the AfCFTA which would open the African continent to a common market.
“We need a product based facility centre. Knowing that the Nigerian market is dominated by micro and small enterprises, if we do not develop them in knowledge to increase their capacity in the areas of raw materials and packaging, they will face a lot of challenges when the AfCFTA is implemented.
“So, before the AfCFTA implemented, we want to through the cooperative, position local products to favourably compete at the international level. Thus, funding of the NPP would be generated by the cooperative so that members can have access to high tech equipment and quality materials to encourage competitiveness on the international scale,” Awe said.
Meanwhile, the president of the NEG Cooperative, Mr. Aniete Bassey, submitted that the cooperative would serve as bedrock to financial support and partnership which is crucial to bearing the high cost of finance needed to attain optimal performance at the international level.
“Nigeria has all it takes to compete favourably in the international community. For example, Nigerians are occupying different enviable positions globally. Hence, the cooperative through the special project vehicle would enhance service delivery by promoting and facilitating quality branding to meet international standard,” he said.
Bassey added that the cooperative would among other things facilitate and promote education as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“It is the duty of every citizen to take care of his/her country. So, at NEG Cooperative, 2.5 per cent is contributed to the education fund. And as individuals, if we find that a child is brilliant and needs assistance, we can issue scholarships,” Bassey noted.