• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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NEPC in push to raise non-oil exports to $30bn

cocoa-beans

The Nigeria Export Promotion Council,(NEPC) says it has mapped out strategies to grow the country’s non-oil exports from the current $2.7 billion to at least $30 bn within five years.

Olusegun Awolowo,the Executive Secretary, NEPC said his agency has the capacity to build  alternative revenue sources for the Federal Government,amid the revenue constraints coming from dwindling oil resources.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised concerns last week that non-oil exports, supposed to support government foreign exchange inflows ,dropped drastically by over $6 billion just between 2014 and 2015.

Awolowo said in an interview with BusinessDay, that the agency has  identified strategic products, sectors, and 21 countries, for Nigerian goods, to grow non-oil foreign exchange from US$2.7 billion today, to US$30 billion.

He noted further that the  NEPC has articulated  three key strategies to support the rapid diversification of the Nation’s economy, through non-oil exports,which include a, “One-State-One Product Programme, assisting each state of the Federation to develop and promote a choice exportable product where it has comparative and competitive edge for exports and can do well in the international market”

Awolowo  said the NEPC  has  13 products in three categories which  are now in focus,  including, Agro Industrial – Palm Oil, Cocoa, Cashew, Sugar and Rice; Mining related products – Cement, Iron ore/metals, Auto parts/cars, Aluminium and, Oil and Gas Industrial Products – Petroleum products, fertilizer/Urea, Petrochemical and Methanol.

On   Nigeria’s   Diaspora Export Programme, he noted that it  has three key components targeted at Nigerians in the Diaspora,which include: Cuisine beyond borders, establishment of Nigerian Heritage Houses and encouraging our teaming diasporas to invest in the non-oil export sector”.

On the agency’s zero oil plan,he said Nigeria would achieve $706million non-oil export to West Africa Sub-region by 2017,while also increasing  non-oil exports to ECOWAS from 9% in 2014 to 20% in 2017 and to increase non-oil export as a percentage of total export from 5% to 20% by 2018”.

Available statistics show  non-oil exports dipped a little in 2015 compared to the preceding year. This was attributed largely to two major reasons – 2015 being an election year (with plenty of uncertainties surrounding campaigns and politicking) and the activities of insurgents in the North East.

However, some marginal impact was made (though only statistics of the first three quarters are captured for now) thus:

1st Quarter: Gross Weight of 516, 428. 63 Metric Tonnes. And export value of $664, 638. 89;

Second Quarter: Gross Weight of 368, 529. 64 Metric Tonnes. And export value of $391, 602,161. 02 and  3rd Quarter: Gross Weight of 311, 769. 1 Metric Tonnes. And export value of $220, 460, 728.

Agriculture products such as cocoa, cashew and leather took the lead, while  manufacturing followed, he added.

Harrison Edeh