Non oil export will redefine Nigeria’s economy if given needed attention-Expert
The Acting Executive Secretary of the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), Mrs. Titi Ojo has said that non-oil export will redefine Nigeria’s economy for good if it is given the needed attention.
She made the submission at the March edition of a virtual forum tagged, Talking Trade with Olufemi Boyede.
Ojo who addressed the theme, “Export for Survival: Charting the Course for (Nigeria’s) Export Success” observed that Nigeria’s over-reliance on oil will continue to spell doom for the economy.
She noted that “95% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings is from oil with 80% of budgetary revenues.”
Oil will fail one day
Ojo said one clear evidence that oil is not reliable was “when the cost of a barrel of crude oil was less than a bottle of coke in 2020 when covid-19 was ravaging”
Unlike the 60s when non-oil exports accounted for 66 percent of the country’s total export, Ojo said recent statistics are nothing to write home about.
She said, “In the last quarter of 2018, the contribution of non-oil exports was as low as 3.4%. It was disturbing to read the IMF report that while countries like Tanzania and Cameroon had added 95 new exportable products between 1990-2022, Nigeria had only added 7 new products during the 30-year period.”
She however acknowledged the role of the Dr. Ezra Yakusak-led Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), in trying to get more Nigerians to embrace the export of made-in-Nigeria products to boost the country’s economy and attract Foreign Direct Investment.
According to her, NEPC is working assiduously to create an enabling environment for exporters and working on the enactment of enabling laws to drive export.
These efforts notwithstanding she said the non-oil export sector of the economy is still jinxed. “We still have a delay in clearing goods at the port. It can take 45 days to clear one container, compared to 5-10 days in neighbouring African countries.
“There is a lack of flexible financing for exporters. There is no synergy between exporters and supporting MDAs of government. The is enabling environment is absent and there is the preponderance of draconian economic policies and regulations.”
On the way forward, she suggested that government should invest in the procurement of data. The data will then be used for evidence-based advocacy. This according to her will enable the government to know the extent of the decadence in that sector of the economy
She also called for a synergy of government agencies and bodies so that exporters will have a clear-cut direction while plying their trade.
The export enthusiast also called for a feedback mechanism of ongoing reforms in the sector adding that “Export for Survival should not just be a cliché. It should be given the attention it deserves, and very urgently too.”
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