ABUJA, 27 January 2014 - The new European Union-funded Nigeria Competitiveness Support Programme (NCSP) was launched today in Abuja.
The programme will help improve the competitiveness of the country’s economy in the non-oil-related sectors, boost trade and productivity, create jobs and reduce poverty. It will support the effective management of trade policy and trade facilitation through strengthened trade support institutions; an improved business and investment environment through regulatory reforms; and the establishment of a National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to improve the quality of products and services and enhance the level of protection for consumer rights.
The event was hosted by the European Union (EU), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), represented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The individual projects launched today include: Strengthening Nigeria’s Trade Support Institutions; and Support to the National Quality Infrastructure. Partly funded by BMZ and UNIDO, they are being implemented by GIZ and UNIDO, respectively.
The event was attended by representatives of the government, multilateral and bilateral development partners, the private sector and other stakeholder groups. It was chaired by the Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Olusegun Aganga, with the support of the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michel Arrion.
Minister Aganga said that "part of the government transformation agenda is to restore Nigeria as a global non-oil trading nation, competitive in production and preferred destination for business and investment". He added that the relationship between Nigeria and Europe had come a long way, spanning over 300 years.
"In this centenary anniversary of Nigeria, we must boost trade, improve our productive capacity, thereby creating jobs and reducing poverty," the minister said.
Ambassador Arrion said that "the EU attaches great importance to its relations with Nigeria as an important political and economic force in West Africa and a key player on the African continent, and is willing to assist Nigerian leaders in improving the living conditions of all Nigerians."
For more information, please contact the UNIDO Regional Office in Abuja