Friday, 23 February 2018


The National Economic Council (NEC) rose from one of its regular meetings with a resolution to form an Export Promotion Committee to beef up foreign exchange from non-oil exports.

The meeting which was presided over by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, announced the nomination of three State Governors: Jigawa, Lagos and Ebonyi and the federal ministers from Industry, Trade & Investment, Agriculture & Rural Development, Power, Works & Housing, Transportation and Finance, as members of the new committee.

Other members of the Export Promotion Committee of NEC are the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), NEXIM Bank, and the CBN. Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed B. Abubakar, is the Chairman, and Industry, Trade & Investment Minister, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, is Co-Chair.

Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Olusegun Awolowo, while speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting said the committee became necessary as Nigeria lost over 100 Billion United States Dollars between 2015 and 2017 to dwindling foreign exchange income occasioned largely by the fall in oil prices in the international market.

He disclosed that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has directed the National Committee on Export Promotion to review several ideas and suggestions tabled at the meeting

He disclosed that Osinbajo who chairs the Council meetings expressed delight at “the robust discussions we have had today, and the many useful suggestions made,” adding that both the Federal and State governments would work together to promote non-oil Nigerian exports.

“Whatever the FG is required to do, will we do and States should also take ownership,” the VP stated, noting that both government levels must sit together, work together and assist each other.

The Committee which is expected to submit an initial report by November is expected to come up with a concise action plan on how to drive non-oil exports based on the presentations and discussions of Council at today’s meeting.

Awolowo said: “Nigeria lost $100b income in three years. The country is looking at 22 sectors that we have picked. Three years ago we rebased our economy and we discovered that oil has been the major driver of our foreign exchange, but from that rebasing, we discovered that oil was not the major driver of our GDP, neither was it agric. We discovered that services were actually the major driver of our GDP at 60 percent. Even at that 60 percent, we were not earning foreign exchange from them”

“Our foreign exchange was still coming from oil. Once oil prices crashed, we started losing foreign exchange. We lost $30 in 2015, $40b in 2016 and $50b in 2017, we lost so much because we weren’t earning foreign exchange from any other sector. So, we are now putting in place the zero oil plans focusing on 22 sectors were we want government should ramp up so that we begin to generate foreign exchange from them. These are products that are trending in international global markets, but then you need the stated because they are the ones that will drive the productivity”

Awolowo noted that the only thing that can take the country out of this recession is export based revival. “In cocoa for example, we are doing 300,000 metric tones, it is for us to improve productivity over we need to overtake Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire, we have the land mass to do it. We have started already and things are happening. This meeting has sealed up al, that we have proposed,” he said.

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