NEPC Boosting Economy Through Non-oil Exports

NEPC Boosting Economy Through Non-oil Exports

By Ladi Patrick-Okwoli

Unarguably, there are noticeable funding gaps in the country’s non-oil, particularly with respect to locally made products for exports.

Some experts have identified the lack of export market training as one of the major reasons Nigerian exporters fail in the international market.

The experts said it was important that exporters got familiar with the specific requirements of the target markets as well as the certification needed for a product to be exported.

They however, stressed the need for long time massive investments and building from the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also noted the imperative of meeting up with the high performance of women in sectors like agriculture; textiles and apparel indicate that women play a major role in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.

“A recent survey by the World Bank revealed that Nigeria has one of the highest rates of female entrepreneurship in the world. However, most of these businesses are classified as low level female entrepreneurship because they operate in informal sectors that yield very little income.

“There is therefore an urgent need to increase women’s potential to participate in high level businesses that can foster financial empowerment, job creation and social development in their communities.

“The participation of women in trade also promotes gender inclusiveness, increases the growth potential of the nation and creates a more balanced framework for sustainable development”, he said.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, had pegged the export of non-oil products as the survival line of the Nigerian economy.

The Executive Director of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, called on Nigerians to embrace the export of made in Nigeria products to boost the country’s economy, create jobs and attract Foreign Direct Investments.

He reaffirmed that exporting Nigerian products is the key to economic survival as it has become an emergency for Nigerians to embrace the export of non-oil products.

NEPC is working assiduously to create an enabling environment for exporters; the Council is currently working on the enactment of enabling laws to drive export. The Council would also embark on the sensitisation of Nigerians across the country on the importance of export for national development”, Dr Yakusak stated.

Like every initiative, observers commended NEPC for the new initiative, noting that Nigeria’s overreliance on oil has done more harm than good for economic development.

They noted that the creative industry holds enormous potential for the nation’s economy, noting that the sector could jump-start the economy.

“There is always an existent funding gap, and the need for more resources, to make exports more accessible and affordable.

To this end, the Federal Government said it is committing the sum of N50 billion toward positioning export-oriented businesses in Nigeria, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday in Abuja, at a two-day National Conference on Non-oil Export organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC.

The conference, with the theme, ‘Export for Survival: Optimising Nigeria’s Non-oil Export Potential’, provided a platform for stakeholders in the non-oil export sector to ventilate viewpoints on the current and emerging issues that are affecting the sector.

According to Osinbajo, the Federal Government is determined to enhance the competitiveness of Nigeria’s businesses within what is poised to become one of the largest regional single markets in the world.

“This is why our Export Development Fund, EDF, under the NEPC, has committed N50 billion to help position export oriented Nigerian businesses. This will enable them to play competitively within this growing regional market by providing access to capacity building programmes, as well as business grants”, he said.

While emphasising the need to reinvigorate the non-oil sector, the Vice President said that there was the need to increase productivity to support the country’s economic diversification drive.

He said that the challenges facing Nigeria’s non-oil export economy should be viewed in the trajectory of the last eight years.

“In 2021, Nigeria’s non-oil revenue stood at N1.15 trillion, representing a growth of 4.73% in the fourth quarter, and a contribution of about 92.51% to the nation ‘s overall Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

“In 2019, the year preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, non-oil revenue represented 92.68% of our total GDP.

“The growth, following that intervening year, indicates the growing resilience of our non-oil export economy and our decreasing susceptibility to shocks in the global oil market.

“Beyond these numbers are human stories of bold visions and grit, persistent innovation and the unflagging spirit of Nigerians across the country, who are building model companies and businesses”, Osinbajo said.

He, however, urged regulatory bodies to become facilitators of businesses rather than posing as impediments to businesses.

According to him, our job as government is to assiduously enable businesses with regulatory policies, procedures and processes that are continuously optimised for greater efficiency and easing the flow of business across sectors.

“This must be coupled, urgently, with the supporting infrastructure needed to aid production, distribution, and export.

“The core mandate of our Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, has recently found expression in the National Action Plan, NAP 7.0, on the Ease of Doing Business.

“It is programmed to consolidate on the removal of regulatory constraints around agro-exports, and drive the electronic filing of taxes and publication of insolvency regulations pursuant to the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020.

“The NAP 7.0 agro-export plan prioritises port and trade facilitation reforms to minimise cross-border trade and transport logistics for Nigerian companies with AfCFTA export compliance.

“These interventions are complemented by improved automation, including the National Single Window, which is in line with the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation, WTO.

“Reduction of cargo clearance time has also been facilitated through the installation of cargo scanners, supported by the Port Community Portal, which has been designed to foster inter-agency collaboration”, Osinbajo said.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Mariam Katagum, said that the Ministry was actively implementing the National Quality Policy, NQP, meant to guide Nigeria build a sustainable quality infrastructure.

According to Katagum, this is in order to make our products competitive in both the domestic and international markets.

 It is important to provide a conducive investment climate by offering a competitive incentive regime, streamlined administrative procedures and world class infrastructure

 Experts have identified the lack of export market training as one of the major reasons why Nigerian exporters fail in the international market.

The experts said it was important that exporters got familiar with the specific requirements of the target markets as well as the certification needed for a product to be exported.
They however stressed the need for long time massive investments and building from the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also noted the imperative of meeting up with the high performance of women in sectors like agriculture; textiles and apparel indicate that women play a major role in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.

A recent survey by the World Bank revealed that Nigeria has one of the highest rates of female entrepreneurship in the world. However, most of these businesses are classified as low level female entrepreneurship because they operate in informal sectors that yield very little income.
“There is therefore an urgent need to increase women’s potential to participate in high level businesses that can foster financial empowerment, job creation and social development in their communities.
“The participation of women in trade also promotes gender inclusiveness, increases the growth potential of the nation and creates a more balanced framework for sustainable development”, he said.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, had pegged the export of non-oil products as the survival line of the Nigerian economy.

The Executive Director of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, called on Nigerians to embrace the export of made in Nigeria products to boost the country’s economy, create jobs and attract Foreign Direct Investments.
He reaffirmed that exporting Nigerian products is the key to economic survival as it has become an emergency for Nigerians to embrace the export of non-oil products.

NEPC is working assiduously to create an enabling environment for exporters; the Council is currently working on the enactment of enabling laws to drive export. The Council would also embark on the sensitisation of Nigerians across the country on the importance of export for national development”, Dr Yakusak stated.

Like every initiative, observers commended NEPC for the new initiative, noting that Nigeria’s overreliance on oil has done more harm than good for economic development.
They noted that the creative industry holds enormous potential for the nation’s economy, noting that the sector could jump-start the economy.

There is always an existent funding gap, and the need for more resources, to make exports more accessible and affordable.

To this end, the Federal Government said it is committed the sum of N50 billion toward repositioning export-oriented businesses in Nigeria, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday in Abuja, at a two-day National Conference on Non-oil Export organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC.

The conference, with the theme, ‘Export for Survival: Optimising Nigeria’s Non-oil Export Potential’, provided a platform for stakeholders in the non-oil export sector to ventilate viewpoints on the current and emerging issues that are affecting the sector.
According to Osinbajo, the Federal Government is determined to enhance the competitiveness of Nigeria’s businesses within what is poised to become one of the largest regional single markets in the world.