By Olawale Jokotoye
Abeokuta, Jan. 30, 2021 The Market Traders’ Association of Nigeria (MATAN) said on Wednesday that it was targetting registration of 40 million members by 2023 for proper identification.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the association, Mohammed Labaram, stated this in Abeokuta, when he led executive members on a courtesy visit to the Ogun Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Kikelomo Longe.
Labaram stated that the step had become necessary to ensure proper identification of MATAN members and check possible crime by some people under the guise of trade.
He said that about two million members had already been registered across the country since the biometric registration commenced in Zamfara on Jan. 19.
“I must say that we have recorded tremendous success since the exercise commenced and members have also co-operated with us significantly across the country.
“The registration will help us identify real members and assist them within whenever they need to travel out to visit or transact business in any of the countries where we have partners,” he said.
Labaram disclosed that the association had finalised plans to sign bilateral agreements with some foreign partners to provide technical assistance to its members to enhance their businesses.
He also said that plans were underway to establish factories in local government areas across the country to help its members enhance the value of their goods and proper packaging for easy exportation.
“We intend to set up factories in each of the 774 council areas in the country with a view to linking our members in each area with technical expertise from our foreign partners to transform their products to finished goods in such factories.
“We want to put an end to exportation of raw materials, improve Nigeria’s capacity to earn foreign exchange and improve the living standard of our members.
“There are available funds because our recent visit to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that there is over N300 billion lying fallow in the bank, waiting to be accessed through meaningful business plans.
“We are, therefore, requesting the Ogun government to provide us with lands to enable us build such factories and markets where only Nigerian-made goods will be sold,” he said.
In her remarks, the commissioner assured the leadership of MATAN of the state government support in its ongoing efforts at strengthening the association.
Represented by Mr Lere Opaleye, the Director of Commerce in the ministry, Longe advised the association to involve NACCIMA in the signing of the bilateral agreements to avoid any hitch in its relationships with foreign organisations.
She also advised the leadership of MATAN to consider the principle of comparative advantage in the establishment of factories in council areas across the nation.
Longe urged the association to articulate and document all its requests, adding that the state government was ready to collaborate with and support it.
By Olawale Jokotoye