With the ever-increasing challenges bedeviling oil production and distribution across the globe, Ezra Yakusak, chief executive officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council of (NEPC, has said that Nigeria’s survival depended on non-oil sector of the economy.
Yakusak made the observation Thursday in Aba, Abia State, at one-day capacity building workshop on ‘Accessing International Market, through Export Trade Houses’ organised by Abia State coordinating office of the Council.
Represented at the event by Roselyn Ekanem, coordinator, NEPC Abia State coordinating office, Aba, Yakusak said that Nigeria needed aggressive marketing to increase productivity, enhance expansion and facilitate growth, through non-oil exports.
Using the automobile and energy sectors for example, the NEPC’s chief executive officer noted that the world was gradually moving away from oil, as there is now electric cars in the automobile sector, solar power in the energy sector, among others, an indication that revenue from oil will no longer sustain any nation in the nearest future.
Amaechi Okechukwu, head, Product and Market, Abia State coordinating office of NEPC, avowed that with the takeoff of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that Nigeria, as the giant of Africa, was positioned to lead in the advocacy for increased intra-African trade.
Okechukwu, while presenting a paper titled ‘Understanding the concept of Export Trade House,’ affirmed that a Trade House was a veritable platform to increase the visibility of made-in-Nigeria products, boost export and increase forex inflow into the Nigerian economy.
He said that NEPC was supporting and collaborating with the private sector in the establishment of Nigeria trade houses across the world, as part of its mandate to promote the development and diversification of Nigeria’s non-oil export base.
The Nigeria Trade House is an initiative of the Council that seeks to create a central location where Made-in-Nigeria products can be shipped, displayed and distributed within an identified location.
The NEPC, through the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) facilitated the establishment of trade houses across the globe, to increase the visibility of Made-in-Nigeria products and increase forex inflow into the economy.
It has so far established export trade houses in Lome-Togo, Ontario-Canada, Johannesburg -South Africa, Nairobi-Kenya, Hunan-China, United Arab Emirates, Jeddah-Saudi Arabia and Cairo-Egypt.
According to him, the concept of trade house has been in practice in the developed and developing countries of the world.
“It is imperative that Nigeria adopt the concept to help grow its local manufacturing industry, thereby reducing unemployment and improving on foreign earnings of the country.
Explaining further, Amaechi said that a trade house was a global B2B platform that enables the home country to trade with foreign countries, explaining that trade houses act as intermediaries that distribute domestic goods and services in the international market.
He said that Nigeria was partnering the private sector in its trade house project, and that an export trade house could either be owned by government, private sector or both.