Statutory functions of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Abia State.
Statutory functions of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Abia State.

The permanent secretary reports to the Hon-Commissioner.

Generally, the responsibilities assigned to the Ministry are as follows:

1. Industrial and Commercial Policy

2.Industrial Feasibility Studies

3. Industrial Promotion

4. State Owned Hotels

5. Micro Small Medium Enterprises

6. Industrial Estates, Clusters and Layouts

7. Development of Local Products

8. Trade Matters (Including Trade Fairs Exhibition and Promotion)

9. Trade Promotion and Export Promotion matters

10. Market Research and Commercial Feasibility

11. Trade Information and Price Intelligence

12. Commercial Projects, including shopping centres and regional market development;

13. Market Associations and Chambers of Commerce;

14. Registration of Business Premises;

15. Consumer Protection;

16. Inspection of Industries;

17. Representation of Government-on-board owned Companies;

18. Produce Inspection Activities;

CONTACT:

Ministry of Commerce and Industry Nnamdi Azikiwe Secretariat Umuahia Abia State Nigeria

Email: [email protected]

Honourable Commissioner Email:  [email protected]

Permanent Secretary Email:  [email protected]

Director of Administration Email:  [email protected]

Director of Commerce Email: [email protected]

Director of Department Email: [email protected]

Director of Department Email: [email protected]

Director of MSME Email: [email protected]

Director of Planning, Research and Statistics Email: [email protected]

(A) COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

1.0. OBJECTIVES:

The realisation of the economic well-being of the state and nation, and the justified concern to achieve a rapid economic growth through a sustained increase in both the volume and patterns of the trade necessitated the existence of Commerce Department in the State Ministry of Commerce and industry. The micro and macro economic impact of this department to the over–all economy of the state cannot be over emphasized.

The policy objectives of Commerce department are categorized under three broad headings thus:-

1.1 DOMESTIC TRACE:

The domestic trade policy aims at accomplishing the following objectives:

(i) To promote and maintain a free flow of commerce by assiduously removing all constraints on the distributive channels so as to ensure that all consumer goods or other commodities, particularly of an essential nature, are in adequate supply to our people at the right time, at the right place and at the right price.

(ii) To encourage the training of manpower in modern business methods;

(iii) To provide government initiative through the establishment of government commercial concerns in partnership with the indigenous businessmen where necessary, thereby helping them to gain experience in the organisation and management of big commercial projects.

(iv) To assist the Nigerian businessmen to appreciate the advantages of pooling their resources, human and material by encouraging the formation of combines, partnership and incorporated companies;

(v) To promote the healthy growth of chambers of commerce and Trade Association as useful organs of communication between the government and business community;

(vi) To watch vigilantly always and to protect the public against any form of restrictive practices or other form of trade mal-practices;

(vii) To provide all the trade infrastructure necessary for the rapid growth of commerce and to render needed business advice to businessmen;

(viii) To strive vigorously to ensure adequate dissemination of business information in and about the state and to keep up-to-date records of the major commercial activities in the state;

(ix) To initiate any measures deemed necessary to counter any economic phenomena which are inimical to the commercial objectives of the state, such as during time of inflation or Recession; and were necessary, to seek requisite legislation or edict for direct government intervention;

(x) To obtain an up-to-date statistics of price movements which will serve as a guide to government budgeting control and financial management; and provide accurate date for other government fiscal or trade policies.

(xi) To advise the Federal Government and, were possible, act as its agent, in all trade matters affecting the state.

(xii) To consult and co-operate with the Federal, State, Local and other authorities on matters affecting the commerce and to do all such other things that are considered vital towards the realization of the state’s domestic trade objectives.

(xiii) To promote and encourage the growth of trade through the organisation and participation of trade fairs, exhibitions, expositions, symposia, seminars and workshops.

(xiv) To ensure development and marketing of local products and handicrafts.

(xv) To ensure the development and, maintenance and supervision of commercial projects in the state including shopping centres, Regional markets, hotels etc

(xvi) To undertake in ensure the full implementation of all government policies affecting commerce in general.

(xvii) To undertake in/ ensure the registration of all business premises and occupation in the state to maintain a register of all such registered particulars. This is to ensure effective planning and encourage revenue generation.

1.2. EXTERNAL TRADE:

The external trade policy of this department aims at attaining the following objectives:-

(i) To seek unrelentingly new markets for, and to promote and expand the export trade of primary products.

(ii) To promote the export of other local and/ or made-in-Nigeria products;

(iii) To ensure that the indigenous businessman had an adequate information on overseas market both for the export and import trade;

(iv) To endeavour through every available opportunity to keep foreign businessmen well informed on the commercial potentials of the state; and to take all such measures as we made them take meaningful interest in the Nigerian market;

(v)To promote and foster smooth business relations between the indigenous businessmen and their foreign counterparts in order to sustain a steady growth in foreign trade;

(vi) To inculcate with the local businessmen; through sound commercial education or orientation, the virtues of honesty in business and the need to maintain good business image abroad;

(vii) To advice the Federal Government on all external trade matters relating to tariffs, import and export restrictions, foreign exchange control, expatriate quota; and ensure that all wholesome constraints on the growth of the external trade are promptly eliminated; and;

(viii) To initiate such other measures or take such other actions as will enhance the development of external trade in the State.

1.0 FUNCTIONS:-

Reflecting the standard organization structure, the functions of the commerce department are sub-divided into five major functional branches under which sub-functions and major activities of the department fall. The detailed functions and major activities are as presented hereunder:-

2.1: Trade Promotion and Commercial Project Branch This branch is engaged in the following:-

(i) Trade promotion matters including organization of trade fairs, Exhibitions and other Business promotions.

(ii) Export promotion matters including exploration and exploitation of the export potentials of the state as well as educating the business community on export procedures and management.

(iii) Coordinating the activities of the State export promotion Committee (An officer of the department function as a secretary).

(iv) Development and marketing of local products and handicrafts.

(v) Liaison with other ministries and organizations regarding domestic, inter-state and external trade matters.

(vi) Supply and distribution of essential and scarce commodities through the Abia marketing company or other designated outlets. (vii) Commercial project development, maintenance and supervision including shopping centres, Regional markets, etc.

(viii) Coordinating and Liaison with the organized private sector such as chambers of commerce and other trade association including NAN, NASSI, NACCIMA Exporters association, etc

(ix) Coordinating and supervision of the activities of State-owned Hotels, Marketing Company.

(x) Maintaining and running an Abia State Local Handicraft shop and goods show room.

(xi) Formation, interpretation and execution of policies on commerce in the state.

(xii) Formulation, interpretation and execution of policies on commerce in the state.

2.2: Trade Protection and Information Branch: This branch is engaged in the following:-

(i) Consumer protection matters

(ii) Rendering of Trade Advisory services

(iii) Handling of trade complaints and enquiries

(iv) Investigation of trade malpractices

(v) Commercial feasibility studies and project/ investment profiles

(vi) Matters relating to standard weights and measure

(vii) Trade information and publications including publication and sale of business/trade bulletins, journals and directories

(viii) Writing of status reports on business organization.

(ix) Commercial education services including organization of seminars, symposia and workshops.

(x) Trade Regulation

(xi) Price intelligence and statistics including market survey and research.

(xii) Co-ordination of the activities of the consumer protection committee(An Officer of this department functions as secretary)

(xiii) Preparation of Abia State Market calendar.

(xiv) Collation of Weekly, Quarterly and Annual situation Reports.

 

2.3 TRADE REGISTRATION BRANCH: This branch is engaged in the following:-

(i) Registration of business premises and occupation in the State (This is to provide business data for planning purposes and to promote internal revenue generation)

(ii) Co-ordination of the operation of the Zonal offices/out stations

(iii) Departmental staff manners include postings discipline arranging for staff meetings and staff welfare matters.

(iv) Compilation of Revenue Returns

(v) Liaises with the Corporate Affairs Commission in the area of Business Names and incorporation of businesses.

(vi) Registration of Trade Associations Commerce Department contact; Email: [email protected]

(B)INDUSTRY DEPARTMENT

1. Introduction:

The industry department is one of the core Departments of the Abia State Ministry of commerce and Industry.

2. Statutory Functions:

i. Industrial Promotions (including projects implementation, production and management).

ii. Industrial feasibility studies and profiles

iii. Small scale industries scheme

iv. Industrial Estates, Clusters and Layouts

v. Industrial Estate Workshops (Mechanic village)

vi. Other State industrial establishments

vii. Relation with other State Governments, the Federal Government and External Agencies in all matters relating to industry.

viii. Government–own limited liability Companies and participated industries.

ix. Matters relating to industries

x. Representing the State Government on the Board.

xi. Matters relating to Manufacturing and Crafts.

xii. Representing the State Government on National Council of Industry’s Meeting and National Industrial Conferences, Seminars and workshops.

xiii. Organizing State Council on Industry Conferences, Seminars and Workshops.

POLICY THRUST : The policy Thrust of the Department is to achieve and accelerated pace of industrial Development in the State in line with vision 20:20-20

OBJECTIVES: The objective of Abia State industrial Policy is to achieve and accelerated pace of industrial development in the State. Abia State’s Industrial Sector is therefore considered the prime move of the State economy. The elements of this objective include: – Providing greater employment opportunities; – Increased private sector participation in the manufacturing Sector – Encourage increased export of manufactured goods for the State – Dispersal of Industries in the State.

STRATEGIES: The ways and means of achieving the stated objectives are:

– Effective monitoring/supervision of industries operating in the State to ensure compliance to Government policies on industries;

– Provision of enabling environment for current and prospective investors;

– Establishment of Industrial Layout that have good Road network, electricity and other infrastructural facilities and security;

– Encouraging the utilization of local raw materials to reduce prices of manufactured goods;

– Adopting Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for achieving effective industrialization process in the State;

– Encourage the use of indigenous technology for manufactured good for export. – Encouraging consumption of locally made goods;

– Liaising with security operatives(s) Custom to check influx of contraband goods;

– Local Governments to establish industrial Estates/ Clusters in the State;

– To periodically organize workshop/seminars for Industrialists to embrace more acceptable ways of doing business with linkages to research institutions;

– To continuously gather data to update the Industrial Directory of the State;

– To provide information on investment potentials to prospective investors.

The under listed Government owned projects are supervised by the Ministry:-

1. Metallurgical Complex Nigeria Ltd.

2.Modern Ceramics Industries Ltd.

3. Golden Guinea Breweries PLC, Umuahia.

4. Aba Texiles Mills PLC. 5. Abia Cement Factory, Arochukwu.

6. Abia Health & Food Company Ltd

7. Petroleum/Gas Development Company

8. Industrial Estates/ Layouts Development

9. International Glass Industry

METALLURGICAL COMPLEX NIGERIA LIMITED:  The project was initiated in 1974 under the defunct East Central State and is now 100% owned by Abia State as a result of State Creation. The project has 2 locations: Ogbor hill Industrial Layout, Aba and Amakama Umuahia. The project was established for manufacturing of assorted Metallurgical Products and Metals. Thus between 1974 and 1982 all production machinery and equipment were imported and stocked in the company’s warehouse at Aba and Umuahia. There is an array of production equipment for foundry casting, forge and fabrication, machining plant, paint and wood workshops all supplied by Skoda Export of Czech Republic as Technical Partners at an estimated cost of Sfrs 39,129,849 and fully paid for appreciative of the technological relevance of the projects. Government has decided to realise the project by completing its first phase of infrastructural development works at Aba Complex, power supply and water as well as foundry plant. Construction work started at Aba site but could not continue as a result of financial constraint in 1993. However, in 2001, Bussdor and Company Ltd was awarded the contract of the construction of the engineering Workshop Complex at Aba Site. Construction work commenced in January 2001 and halted in September, 2001 as a result of financial problem. In line with the present Government Industrial Policy which is Private Public Partnership (PPP), the State Government appointed Agrico Multiservices Ltd., as Core Investor for the realization of the MetComplex Ltd in 2008. Construction work is still on-going.

THE INTERNATIONAL GLASS INDUSTRY LTD: The International Glass Industries Ltd is located at Ogbor Hill Industrial Layout, Aba and was incorporated on 15th October 1975 for the production of safety, hollow and sheet glass products with a total capacity of 114,300 metric tones per annum. Most of the physical facilities at the International Glass Industry were assembled between 1974 and 1987 with an array of plants, equipment, fixtures and fittings, motor vehicles, and utility infrastructure valued at N5.56 Billion in 1997. The project was executed with a foreign loan of Str 286.368 Million. Between 1991 and 1992, Government concluded negotiation with Churchgate Industries Ltd for the reactivation of the company. Accordinly, Churchgate was engaged as core investor / Technical Manager with an equity of 40% Abia state Government retained 40% while 20% is still outstanding for privatization to other investors. Meanwhile, the hollow glass plant has commenced production of bottles on 15 May 1975 while the sheet glass section is yet to be reactivated. The complex also anticipated expansion into product lines like wired and figured glass and when fully realised would stand as the largest composite glass plant in Africa. Under Government’s privatization policy programme, investors could acquire shares in the company.

MODERN CERAMIC INDUSTRIES LTD: Modern Ceramics Industries Ltd was established in 1963 to produce ceramics wares with specialization in sanitary products. The company is valued at over N250 Million. It was later reactivated in 1973 but stopped operation in 1996 as a result of the kiln. The company is slated for privatization, lease or sale to prospective investors. Its assets include factory buildings administrative and residential buildings, vehicles, plants and machinery, furniture and water bore hole. However, the Abia State Government in an effort to activate the company handed it over to UCL Resources Ltd as core Investor/Manager in 2003, with UCL holding an equity share of 80% while Government and Public Investor holds 20%. The reactivation programme is still on-going.

INDUSTRIAL ESTATE/LAYOUT/CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT: This is one of the core Incentives schemes designed to facilitate and encourage the development of Industries in the state. Under the scheme Government provides Industrial Land with built up infrastructure which offers the convenience of Common Facility Centre (CFC). On-going Industrial Estate/Layouts/Clusters in the State which are at different levels of development, include: 1. Ovom Industrial/workshop Estate, Aba. 2. Umukalika Industrial Cluster, Obingwa L.G.A. 3. Ohiya Workshop Estate, Umuahia 4. Tarpaulin, Metal Fabricators Clusters, Osisioma/Umuikaa near Aba. 5. Ubakala Industrial Estate, Umuahia South. Investors are therefore invited to invest on the development of these Estates/Layouts/clusters in the state.

GOLDEN GUINEA BREWERIES PLC, UMUAHIA: Golden Guinea Breweries Plc. was incorporated in 1962 by the then Easter Nigerian Development Corporation (ENDC) as Independent Breweries Ltd., following it’s successful privation, the company was quoted in the stock exchange in Nigeria. It is also the first indigenous brewery to brew and bottle lager beer (Golden Guinea Lager) in Nigeria. PRODUCTS: GGB Plc is in the beverage industry. Its products include: Golden Guinea Larger, Eagle Stout, Bergerdorf and Bergerdorf Malta.

EQUITY HOLDINGS: The company holds technical partnership with Messer’s Holsten Breweries AG Holsten, Hamburg and FLOCA Ver Waltungs, Germany which holds 5.5% and 15% equity shares respectively, Abia State Government holds 12.26% equity share. Unfortunately, the operations of the company stopped in 2003 as a result of explosion of Boiler and efforts are being made through a core investor, Chief Okey Nzenwa to reactivate the company.

ABA TEXTILES MILL PLC: Aba Textiles is a registered Public Limited Company and listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange on the 24th June, 1993 in the textile sector. Aba textile Mills Plc was one of the leading Textile Mills in Nigeria with the capacity for employing 1,660 staff and it excelled in producing grey baft and printed fabric which enabled the company to operate profitably until 1996-97 when the ban on importation of foreign fabric was lifted. The Company is at present not in operation. Abia State Government is inviting prospective investors to invest in the Company in the light of the strategic important of the State. The Management of the company of the company is in the hands of Messrs Churchgate Industries Ltd, Lagos which holds the largest single share capital. The present share holding structure is as follows:- • Churchgate Industries (Nigeria) Ltd. 29.09% • Government of Abia State 5.24% • Government of Enugu State 7.40% • Government of Imo State 6.69% • Government of Anambra State 0.44% • Government of Ebonyi State 2.04% • Nigeria Public 49.10% .

CEMENT FACTORY, AROCHUKWU: The Hermes Juno Consortium won the bid for the setting up of a Cement Factory at Arochukwu. Abia State has a rich Limestone reserve in Arochukwu. The Hermes Juno Group had moved to site with actual physical development expected to commerce shortly. Memorandum of understanding between the Government of Abia State of Nigeria and Hermes Juno projects Ltd. Was sign in 2009.

ABIA HEALTH FOOD COMPANY LIMITED:

1. Location: Km 128 Enugu/Port Harcourt expressway, Ubakala, Umuahia

2. Background: The company was establish in 1989 by the then Imo State Government but inherited by Abia State in 1991 following creation of State. The company among other things was established to utilize the abundant Soya Beans based foods snacks and drinks as protein supplements.

3. Status: Activities in the company stopped in 2006 due to breakdown of equipment, and government under its current privatization programme has slated it for privatization. Any core investor would therefore be welcomed to reactivate and operate the company.

PETROLEUM GAS DEVELOPMENT :Abia State is of the key oil producing States in Nigeria. Most of the oil/gas occurs in parts of Ukwa East/West border of the State. Much of the gas is being flared in course of exploration while the crude oil is piped to existing refineries in other part of the country or exported. The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is presently the only company working in the area of oil exploration. There is, therefore, the strong need for investors to establish the refineries and other down stream projects in the State to exploit/utilize the oil potentials in the State. Moreover, under the present Federal Government policy, licenses are being granted for private and State owned refineries in the Country. This project is a strategic industry and as such investors would be welcomed to participate in the development of the oil sector in the State.

Industry Department Contact Email: [email protected]

(C) PRODUCE DEPARTMENT : Back ground information/ functions: Produce Department is Statutorily Empowered to inspect and grade all agricultural Produce in the State both for local consumption and for export. The Department is equally saddled with the responsibilities of registering of produce merchants, storekeepers, Produce stores, fumigation/spraying of produce stores, private/ commercial buildings. The above services are paid for. The department wants to take a holistic repositioning of the above services in order to increase efficiency, better services delivery and higher productivity.

2. TARGET/OBJECTIVES:

a. Increase in produce inspection fees: Currently all produce fees has been increased in order to improve the internally generated revenue of the State.

b. Meeting up with the fifty million-naira revenue target of the department. Last year we generated the sum #33,957,155.00. This year the department has the objectives of reaching #50.000.000 before the year runs out.

c. Entering into processing mills in the State: Before now factories were giving the department more than 85% of the total revenue. Unfortunately, for the past 10 years, these factories owners have not allowed our staff access to their factories hence we intend to enter these factories before the year runs out case in the court is about to end in our favour.

d. i. Grading of 30,000.00 metric tons of cocoa

ii. Grading of 25,000.00 metric tones of palm kernels and palm oil.

iii. Grading 10.000.00 metric tons of cashew nuts

iv. Grading of 5000 metric tons of rubber etc.

3. STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE THE ABOVE TARGETS/ OBJECTIVES :

a. Restraining of staff. The entire staff will be exposed to constant seminars/ workshops in order to equip them with modern ways of doing the job that will enhance their productivity.

b. The merchants and farmers will equally be provided with seminar/ workshops in order to get them acquainted with the best way of handling their produce, which will in turn improve their qualities and increasing the quantities the produce.

c. Building of at least six- produce check posts at various exists of the State. The aim is to check mate the activities of smugglers.

d. Recruiting of least 20 produce superintendents in training. The above will help the department to do a 24 hours job, which the department requires.

e. Provision of mobility. Additional one car and tricycles are needed for chemical analysis.

f. Fund to run the department. Fund is needed to run the department

Produce Department Contact Email: [email protected]

(D) MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (MSME) DEPARTMENT

1. Statutory functions: The MSME Department was created out of Industry Department on November 1, 2005 via Abia State Head of Service letter no. HAS/ETP/EVG/72/38 of same date. The purpose was to create an institutional framework for rapid establishment, growth and sustainability of micro, small and medium enterprises in Abia State.

The responsibilities of the department are as follows:

(i) Identification/ sourcing of international/ funds for MSME’s

(ii) Assisting MSME’s access various loans available

(iii) Training and sensitization(capacity building) programmes for MSME’s

(iv) Project packaging (feasibility studies for MSME’s

(v) Operation of the Abia State fund for Small Scale Industries (FUSSI) micro credit scheme.

2. Blue print of activities: The MSME Department‘s key objectives and strategic plans flow from the State and National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (ABSEEDS/NEEDS) framework.

2.1 Objectives: The following are the key objectives of the Department:

(i) To establish 5100 MSME projects in the 17 LGAs of the State (300) each in collaboration with the National Association of the Small Scale Industries (NASSI) I the first year of the intervention exercise.

(ii) Run sensitization seminars in the 17 LGAs of the State with NASSI and other OPS on the sources of fund for MSMEs

(iii) Undertake advocacy meetings with blanks and other financiers on the modalities for funding MSMEs

(iv) Liaise with appropriate Government agencies such CBN, SMEDAN, the Bankers Committee etc on the implementation of available intervention/incentive schemes to the sector.

(v) Initiate adequate appropriations are made for the sector in the State budget as well as building the capacity of the MSME Department and agencies in the State to facilitate it effectiveness in service delivery.

(vi) Provide business development services through proper project packaging for about 5100 MSMEs in the 17 LGAs of the State annually to enable them access loans.

(vii) Reposition the FUSSI Scheme including its law review for effective micro credit delivery to targeted groups such as the unemployed, graduates, youths, artisans and clients difficult to reach with the formal banking facilities.

3.0 Strategies: The achieve the above objectives, the following strategic plans are adopted:

(i) The public/private sector dialogue is initiated to involve all stakeholders in the MSME service delivery.

(ii) Partnering with MSME experts and agencies such as the NDDC, SMEDAN, NAPEP, CBN etc for effective service delivery.

(iii) Collaboration with the organized private sector (OPS) in their needs assessment and interventions.

(iv) Capacity building for the OPS and regular training/ sensitization workshops to the MSMEs.

(v) Counselling/advocacy programmes for MSME operators.

(vi) Identification of special skills/technologies and investment opportunities, and packaging them for funding by financiers.

(vii) Gender mainstreaming to endure vulnerable and MSME groups are empowered to invest in projects that could sustain livelihood.

MSME Department Contact Email: [email protected]

(E) PLANNING RESEARCH AND STATISTICS DEPARTMENT: The department of Planning, Research and Statistic is responsible for the plan implementation of the ministry capital projects. In a more general sense, the department assists in policy formulation and implementation in areas of commerce and industry and produce. The department as one of the mandatory services arms of the Ministry, performs its function by monitoring and ensuring that various departments and companies maintain high efficiency and productive level in other to achieve the expected targets and objectives underlined.

Below are key functions of the department:

(1) Preparation of Ministry annual work plan

(2) Plan implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects.

(3) Preparation of Ministry’s annual Budgeting

(4) Secretariat of Ministry’s tenders Board

(5) Library, Library Services and publications

(6) Registration of contracts and consultancy of companies

(7) Resource centre/data bank for the ministry

(8) Civil and minor work

(9) Due process secretariat for the ministry

(10) Liaising with other departments in establishment and documentation of Exco–memoranda

(11) Agency report and inter-ministerial meeting with regard to planning research and statistics

(12) Constant collection, collation and process of statistical data as it relate to the ministry
(13) Regular link with relevant bodies like State Planning Commission, CBN, Bureau of Statistics, etc Planning, Research and Statistics .

Contact Email: [email protected]