…Says only licensed agents will buy goods directly from Nigerian farmers
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved that only licensed Nigerian agents will now buy goods directly from farmers and sell to foreigners.
The approval was given at the meeting of the Council on Wednesday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Farmers in Nigeria will henceforth be protected from foreigners and their agents who buy agricultural commodities and goods from farmer gates without the right pricing.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting, said that he submitted a memo to the Council that was geared towards the promotion of agribusiness in Nigeria.
“This memo was necessitated by the need for government to establish an appropriate mechanism that would not only protect our farmers in terms of achieving the right prices for their goods and commodities but also ensure that they have the appropriate incentives and the needed encouragement to guarantee their continued participation in the farming business.
“Over the years, foreigners have been going to the farm gates and buying produce from the farmers at low prices, thus de-incentivizing the farmers from continuing with their trade.
“So, we finally got approval from FEC today for only licensed local buying agents who must be registered by the relevant national commodity associations, they are the ones who now will be able to buy goods directly from the farmers and sell to the foreigners.
“This way, the farmers will no longer be cheated by these foreigners who just throw money at them and are able to buy their goods.”
The Industry Minister said that he also presented a memo for the approval of Trade Policy Action Plan to unleash “Nigeria’s Development Potentials through Trade and Investment.“
He said;“The whole idea is that because of we’re not making as much money as we used to from sale of oil, and because of reduction in the money that comes from that aspect of Nigeria’s revenue generation, we want to utilize trade as a means of generating revenue for the country.
“So, the action plan aims to utilise the existing national trade policy to facilitate an effective use of international trade and investment as tools for economic growth and poverty reduction in the country.”
Adebayo said that the cabinet approved the policy that would enable the ministry to engage with all the ministries, departments and agencies involved in trade and revenue generation, as well as the organized private sector and civil society organisations to ensure a successful implementation of the trade policy action plan.
According to him, one of the next steps that would be taken now will be the inauguration of a committee that will work to update the existing trade policy, which was last updated in 2002.
He said that the ministry would also be looking into coming up with an investment policy.