The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has called on Nigerians, especially exporters, to work together to drive the country’s economic survival through non-oil exports.
Speaking during the First National Forum of States Committee on Export Promotion held in Abuja on Wednesday, Executive Director, NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said the non-oil exports performance of the country had been on the upward movement within the last one year, notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19 on the economy in 2019 and 2020.
He said the national non-oil exports recorded the highest performance in recent times, with the total value of $2.59 billion, representing 62.37 per cent growth compared with $1.60 billion recorded during same period in 2021.
“Permit me to inform you that in pursuant to the aggressive economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government, early this year, NEPC launched a national non-oil export stimulation initiative tagged the Export4Survival. The campaign was developed to boost foreign exchange earnings through the non-oil export sector while preparing Nigeria for an economy that would not be dependent on crude oil export for its survival.
He said the NEPC was partnering with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to carry the campaign to the grassroots, noting that as a critical stakeholder, chairmen of States Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP) were expected to join hands in propagating the campaign in their respective domains.
He said over the years, state committees had contributed significantly to the development of non-oil exports across the federation.
Nigeria is largely an oil-dependent economy and has struggled to diversify away from oil. Of about $45bn exports in 2022, only $10bn was non-crude.
According to Yakusak, through the partnership of NEPC with SCEP, the nation had witnessed a sharp increase in the number of NEPC offices from 15 in 2016 to 34.
“We are strongly hoping that Bayelsa and Yobe States would soon come on board to have full national coverage,” he noted.
“Regrettably however, as important as the SCEP is to non-oil export development in the country, the potential of this important committee is not being fully utilized. It is on this note that we convened this forum to discuss identified challenges bedeviling SCEP operations in each State and to jointly proffer workable solutions.”