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Export4Survival: Nigeria can survive without oil, but all hands must be on export deck – Ganiyu Ahmid

Export4Survival: Nigeria can survive without oil, but all hands must be on export deck – Ganiyu Ahmid

 

Experts in non-oil export drive say Nigeria can survive without oil. A top official of the Nigeria Export Promotions Council (NEPC), Ganiyu Ahmid, who just resumed in Port Harcourt as the new Regional Coordinator for South-South, said the drive toward this realisation has already kicked off.

He told BusinessDay in an exclusive interview at Juanita Hotel at a one-day workshop on packaging and labelling in export business that the top economies of the world are not oil exporters.

Ahmid said NEPC has realized that it is possible for Nigeria to survive without oil and has moved to mobilise almost all Nigerians to join non-export business, saying it can be done.

He said the realization has led to the fact that wherever NEPC is carrying out any programme, they push the slogan, Export4Survival, saying they want all hands to be on export deck to create an export-based non-oil economy.

On what the NEPC and the FG want achieve with the slogan, Ahmid said: “When we talk of Export4Survival, we do so realizing that we all know that in Nigeria today, everything is about oil. It is like without oil, we cannot survive. But, it should not be so. Yes, we must keep doing what w are doing in oil and even more, but time has come to join non-oil exporting countries to fight for Nigeria’s share of the market.

“I want to tell you that without oil, we will survive. In fact, the in-thing in the world today is non-oil export because you find that apart from some four countries in the top bracket, 20 others are basically dependent on non-oil oil export. If you look around, you will see that they are doing very well.”

He said this informs the reason why the NEPC launched the ‘Export4Survival’ scheme last year April (2022) so that Nigerians can key into this philosophy.”

He said the major plank of the scheme is for NEPC to look at states where they have comparative advantage in some products which they can be encouraged to develop and export. “That is why NEPC is promoting Export4Survival so people will know and contribute their quota to the GDP of the country. As at last year ending, Nigeria recorded $4.8Bn export value.”

On this, the expert wants the thinking of Nigerians to tilt toward non-oil because he believes that without oil Nigeria can survive.

Read also: How Nigeria’s export processing terminals will boost intra-African trade and non-oil exports

“Without oil, Nigeria can survive. The only thing to do now is to do it right. That is why NEPC is organizing this programme: packaging and branding for export. The essence is that whatever Nigerians are sending out of the country, with good packaging and good quality, it will enter the international market.”

On worries expressed by many stakeholders about lukewarm attitude of most governors in pushing for non-oil export business, Ahmid said NEPC has been pressing the state governments to partner on the scheme. “That is one of the reasons we have our offices in all the 36 states of Nigeria apart from the headquarters in the FCT Abuja.”

He said apart from Bayelsa and one other state in the north-east yet to get an office, he said all states have the presence of NEPC so the state governments can work out collaborations to push products of their comparative advantage. He said efforts are at advanced states to open an office in Bayelsa. “We are in touch with the relevant authorities to enable us open an office there so they can key into export drive. That is why some of them are in this programme today so they too can join the FG initiative.”

The new regional boss urged Nigerians to push hard in non-oil export. “I want Nigerians to think outside the box now that without oil, we can survive, we can do better. Nigeria can do better.

“With what I have seen now and from the products these SMEs have brought in, we can export them out. It just needs some retouching here and there. With some adjustments, they are good to go.”