Nigeria officially joins the ICO

Coffee plant in Nigeria. Image (cropped): Michael Burrows via Pexels

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) is entering the final stretch of 2021 with the news of welcoming Nigeria as a new member.

On 30 November 2021, the ICO welcomed the minister/deputy head of Industry, Trade and Investment (ITI), Mr Bukar Abdulasalam, and the first secretary to the head of ITI, Mrs Agwase Deborah from Nigeria’s High Commission to the UK to the ICO headquarters to present Nigeria’s Instrument of Ratification to the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) 2007. The ratification process involved preparation from Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, approval from the Federal Executive Council, and confirmation and ratification by Nigeria’s president H.E. Mr Muhammadu Buhari.

Both Nigeria and the ICO will benefit through the sharing of best practices to produce, trade and increase consumption of coffee. Nigeria since the late 19th century has been a major coffee producer, as a major cash crop for farmers in the country for decades. This will be an opportunity for Nigeria to regain a predominant role in the international coffee market.

During discussions, Nigeria stated that they were happy to join the ICO coffee family as an opportunity to grow coffee and with it income and jobs opportunities. ICO executive director José Sette discussed Nigeria’s areas for engagement with the ICO including the Coffee Public- Private Taskforce (CPPTF), and the innovative reform of the International Coffee Agreement (ICA).

Nigeria has now completed the process of accession to the ICO and became a member of the ICO under the ICA 2007. There are 76 countries that are part of the ICO which currently account for 97% of world coffee production and exports and over two-thirds of coffee imports.

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