BusinessDay

NEPC seeks formalisation of export services to boost Nigeria’s economy

..says export of services is the easiest way to diversify economy

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerians lead agency in the promotion of the non-oil export sector of the economy, has advised professionals, who render services abroad or to foreign nationals in the country to formalise their services to bring in foreign exchange and improve the country’s economy.

Arnold Jackson, regional head, South-East region of NEPC, gave this advice Wednesday, while delivering a paper titled “Export of Nigerian services, at one-day sensitisation workshop on “Export of Services”, organised by the Aba Smart Office of the Council.

He explained that the services sector is the easiest way to diversify the economy.

Business services in Nigeria include professional services in healthcare, information communication technology (ICT), transportation, financial services, entertainment and education, which it has comparative advantage.

Jackson stated that the services sector is the fastest growing sector of the global economy and most developed economies are supported by it.

He said that data from UNCTAD indicated that services account for 57percent of African gross domestic product.

Also, merchandise export will not be possible without the support of the services
sector, Jackson stated.

He observed that services are often not sufficiently included in official statistics, because informality is much widespread in the sector, stressing that the actual size of the service sector is likely to be much bigger.

This is as he stressed that trade in services has grown at faster pace than in goods export, since 1980.

To boost the sector, Jackson advocated for better data gathering, noting that with better understanding of the actual trade in services volume that investors would be more willing to provide finance.

Read also: NEPC sensitises Abia exporters on ‘Zero to Export’

Rosslyn Ekanem, trade promotion advisor, NEPC, Aba Smart Office, in her welcome address stated that services export is key to the growth of the economy and provides crucial input for the rest of the economy.

She stated that human capital and information technology are crucial to explain export success in modern services, such as, business and professional services-banking, legal, insurance, arts, music, Bollywood, among others.

She explained that there workshop was necessitated by the important role services play in diversification of the economy in view of the current dwindling revenue from oil, which has placed further responsibility on all stakeholders to promote increase in collaboration of non-oil exports to the Nigerian economy.

Stanley Mba, National assistant secretary, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), who presented a paper titled “Harnessing the export potentials of Nigerian movies: And policy implications, expressed joy that NEPC is spearheading the creation of viable processes for the exportation of Bollywood movies

He noted that Bollywood has continued to thrive and rise despite numerous challenges faced by the industry, which according to him was made possible by their strong assets-stories, culture and talents.

Mba stated that better quality movies would not only improve the perception of the domestic industry and the country’s image, thus attracting foreign investors, but also the revenue accrued from the industry.

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