By G9ija

Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, has disclosed that the Federal Government is pursuing an aggressive strategy to increase foreign exchange earnings on non-oil export trade to $150 billion.

She explained that the strategy, which hinged on government’s zero oil plan strategy, was being planned for 10 years.

The minister stated this at the opening of a two-day capacity building for members of Women Farmers and Traders Association (WFTA), organised by the ministry in collaboration with the association.

Katagum explained that the Federal Government was capitalising on non-oil sector to exploit abundant deposit resources, while discouraging over dependence on oil.

“The move will enhance the productive competitive advantage of states in Nigeria, through the “One State, One Product Initiative,” driving local production of key commodities, especially edible oils, Shea butter, Sesame, starchy, sugar, textile, automobile assembly and agriculture,” she said.

She added that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was committed to its mandate of accelerating diversification of the country’s economy for growth and development, jobs creation and poverty alleviation with specific focus on women-owned business.

Katagum declared that the capacity building for women farmers and traders on trade facilitation was aimed at broadening knowledge on process and procedure of import and export trade.

She expressed concern that in spite of the fact that opportunities abound in the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACfTA) and Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), Nigerians, especially women had not taken the advantage to grow their businesses due to lack of knowledge on the process.

National Coordinator of WFTA, Aisha Sule Baffa, appealed to the Federal Government to ease the processes and procedures of doing business in the country.

Baffa, who lamented the difficulties in sourcing finance and getting products registered with government agencies, urged the ministry to create an atmosphere for ease of doing business in Nigeria.