By James Emejo
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, Thursday disclosed that a post COVID-19 Industry, Trade and Investment Sustainability Committee had been set up to review the ministry’s “goals and propose strategic adjustments after applying lessons learnt and recommendations from the COVID-19 outbreak”.
He said the move was in line with the recent direction by President Muhammadu Buhari in a national broadcast.
The minister said in order to ensure that the economy adapts to new reality, his ministry will henceforth collaborate with the Ministries of Communication and Digital Economy; Science and Technology; Transportation and Aviation, Interior, Health, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment as well as Education to jointly develop a comprehensive policy for a Nigerian economy functioning with COVID-19.
He noted that the committee, as directed by Buhari will be supported by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council and the Economic Sustainability Committee in executing its mandate.
Adebayo spoke at his weekly update on the performance of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) of the Committee on Sustainable Production and Delivery of Essential Commodities During COVID-19 in Abuja.
He said the federal government was currently working assiduously to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 lockdown through sustainable production, transportation and distribution of essential products including food, medical, pharmaceutical and agro-allied products so as to continue unhindered throughout the period of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
He further noted that despite initial challenges faced as a result of inter-state border closure by some state governors, the ministry is constantly engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure free-flow of essential cargo within the country and at the ports of arrival.
In a statement by Deputy Director, Press, FMITI, Mr. Ibrahim Haruna, he further commended the efforts of EOC members in their prompt response in resolving incidents that will hinder the free flow of essential commodities adding that they have not only done well in representing the ministry but had also been proactive in projecting it as well as representing the ministry at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID- 19 .
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Mariam Katagum, said the committee had received a total number of 55 requests for intervention across the country, noting that 54 had been resolved at the level of the committee.
She added that 68 per cent of these interventions were logistics related, while about 20 per cent are market intelligence issues “where we have been able to pair supply and demand to keep production afloat.
Other requests had to do with direct manufacturing operations and some requests were retail related”.