Nigeria Ratifies International Coffee Organisation Membership

coffee and tea

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has ratified Nigeria’s membership at the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) 12 years after it signed the agreement.

This was part of the three major policy decisions taken at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, revealed that the council ratified Nigeria’s membership of the global coffee group.

According to him, the ratification gives Nigeria a full membership status at the organisation, although it signed the agreement in 2008.

“We signed the international coffee agreement in 2008 and until now (October 21), Nigeria had not ratified this agreement and the result of not having ratified, gave us only an observer status in the organisation and unfortunately, there are a lot of things that come with full membership that the country had been missing on,” he said.

The Minister said the ratification will now afford the country the opportunity to benefit more from the organisation and be actively involved in creating policies on coffee trade worldwide.

“The benefits that will come to the country include the allocation of coffee development project, access to consultative fora on coffee sector finance, where our farmers will have access to funds to improve farm yields and boost coffee production in Nigeria,’’ he said.

According to the Minister, Nigeria has a lot of coffee growers in the six geo-political zones of the country with over a million farmers involved.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Environment, Mr Muhammad Mahmood, said also at the meeting, the council looked into how plastic waste management can boost the nation’s economy.

“Three months ago, we presented a memo on solid waste management. Plastic, being one of the compositions of total waste, has a significant place in the total waste regime because of its non-biodegradable nature and we have plastics littered all over the place, causing an environmental hazard to both humans and animals.

“What this policy seeks to do is to seize the opportunity of our paradigm shift from linear to a circular economy. The standard procedure in the past was, you produce, you use and dispose and we just realised that we cannot continue to do that as plastic has lent itself to recycling or reuse.

“Therefore, what this policy intends to achieve is to capitalise on that property of it being reused,” the Minister explained.

Mr Mahmood maintained that already, the Ministry of Environment has built some plastic recycling plants across the country, which will serve as a pilot scheme.

According to him, the private sector will have the opportunity to dominate the recycling plants, saying that plastic waste is the second form of waste the country needs to deal with.

He, however, stated that plastic could be recycled to produce blocks, new plastics and palettes for the production of interlocks and many more uses.

The Minister of Health, Mr Osagie Ehanire, on his part, said the council approved a bill on the establishment of a National Council for Traditional and Alternative Medicine and complementary medicine practice in Nigeria.

According to the Minister, the bill seeks to take traditional and complementary medicine out of obscurity and institutionalise it.

Mr Ehanire noted that the emergence of Coronavirus had renewed the call for home-grown solutions to public health diseases as well as to find the value in traditional medicines.

“It will also provide the opportunity for the possibility of training, setting up institutions and also being able to research further, in collaboration with the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research of Nigeria, to actually dig out the values that are in our traditional medicine, where they can be used,” he added.

The Minister said the proposed law, when approved, will also help to protect the intellectual property of traditional medicine practitioners in the country.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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