Minister Okechukwu Enelamah Announces New Policy for Tomatoes
1. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) has developed a new policy for tomatoes, in line with the Federal Government’s goal of boosting production, improving the value chain and attracting investment
2. The tomato sector policy was developed and is being implemented in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control
3. The policy has the following specific objectives – to increase local production of fresh tomato fruit required for fresh fruit consumption and processing; increase local production of tomato concentrate and reduce post-harvest losses.
4. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the policy and the implementation of certain extraordinary price-based measures to safeguard the balance of payments, under the condition of recession.
5. These price-based measures are as follows:
a. Classification of Greenhouse Equipment as Agricultural Equipment in order to attract 0% import duty;
b. Stopped the importation of tomato paste, powder or concentrate put up for retail sale
c. Stopped the importation of tomatoes preserved otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid;
d. Increase of the tariff on tomato concentrate to 50% with an additional levy of $1,500/MT;
e. Restriction of the importation of tomato concentrate to the seaports to address the abuse of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS);
f. Inclusion of tomato production and processing in the list of industries eligible for investment incentives administered by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
6. These measures will become effective 30days after April 7 2017, when the ECOWAS Secretariat was notified.
7. According to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, “this new policy is at the core of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), which prioritizes agro-allied businesses, an area that we have comparative advantage”
8. He continued: “these measures ultimately, accelerates the growth of the manufacturing industry and deepens diversification.”
9. Nigeria imports an average of 150,000 metric tons of tomato concentrate per annum valued at $170million mostly due to inadequacy in capacity to produce tomato concentrate. Current demand for fresh tomato fruits is estimated at about 2.45million metric tons per annum (MTPA) while the country produces only about 1.8million MTPA.
10. Despite the supply gap, about 40% of fresh tomato produce is lost due to wastage arising from poor post-harvest handling and inadequate storage.
11. MITI is committed to sustainable investment in the entire value chain of tomato sub-sector. In addition, agriculture and agro-allied processing are priority areas for achieving the MITI plan for Growth and Diversification.
12. The new policy is expected to create at least 60,000 additional jobs in fresh fruit production and processing
13. FEC also approved the establishment of the Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (The Industrial Council) on March 15th
14. It was set up to assist the Government in formulating policies and strategies that will enhance the government’s industrialization goals.
15. Specifically, it will do the following: Provide input to the formulation of sectoral and industrial policy, and Government interventions aimed at enhancing the performance of the Nigerian industrial sector;
16. Provide feedback on government policies and programs that affect the industrial sector; make recommendations, propose initiatives and bring perspectives that promote competitiveness and growth of the Nigerian industrial sector;
17. It will periodically review performance, trends, and issues, within the industrial sector, with a view to proposing interventions to enable investments and competitiveness;
18. The Council will act as a liaison between industrial sector at large, and government;
19. The Industrial Council will be made up of prominent industrialists across various segments, key stakeholders of industry and representatives of relevant ministries and agencies, which have mandates that significantly impact industry.
20. The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment shall provide the Secretariat to facilitate its operations
21. On Made in Nigeria, FEC approved the Made in Nigeria patronage initiative to stimulate local production, create employment and patronage of Made in Nigeria goods and services. By implication, our local manufactures will have a more conducive environment to produce, policy initiatives to support them and more aggressive funding targeted as MSMEs
22. FMIT with the Ministry of Information also announced a twice a week wearing of local or made in Nigeria clothes for all public servants and we encourage the private sector to do the same.
23. The National Press launch is being organised for this quarter, and this will be rolled out all around the country with the objective of detailing what government is doing in this regard.
24. On Industrial Development Centers, the Ministry through its Agency, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has received financing from the African Development Bank’s Medium Income Country Technical Assistance Fund (MICTAF) to carry out a study on the viability of developing and transforming the 23 Industrial Development Centres into Industrial Clusters.
25. The objective of the project is to establish state of the art Common Infrastructure Facility Centres that will improve the global competitiveness of Nigerian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), through manufacturing excellence and insuring sustainable growth through collective wisdom and result oriented efforts.
26. In the course of the implementation of this project, six (6) Industrial Development Centres (IDCs) would be transformed and will serve as Case Study for MSME Growth and Innovation. It is hoped that the Project will be scaled up to include the remaining 17 of the 23 IDCs by 2018.
FMITI Growth and Diversification Plan
MITI Plan is based on three core pillars (our major strategic programs) and five foundational enablers (necessary conditions to realise our plans) compose the MITI Plan:
• 3 Core Pillars
– Implement the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP)
– Support Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
– Support the Digitalization of the Nigerian economy
• 5 Foundational Enablers
– Establish an Enabling Business Environment (EBE)
– Develop Special Economic Zones (SEZ)
– Establish 21st Century trade/Free Trade agreements
– Attract domestic and foreign investments
– Institutionalize the Structural Reform Agenda (SRA)
Constance C. Ikokwu
Strategy and Communications Adviser to HM