The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo has disclosed that the N50 billion Export Development Fund under the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) will facilitate the growth of Nigerian export business to compete favourably in the international market.
Speaking at a two-day National Conference on Non-Oil Export in Abuja on Tuesday, Osibanjo reaffirmed government commitment in diversifying the country economy.
He noted that, this is why our Export Development Fund, under the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, has committed N50bn to help position export oriented Nigerian businesses to play competitively within this growing regional market by providing access to capacity building programmes, as well as business grants.
“We are determined to accelerate our efforts through holistic stakeholder input and this is why this conference is of immense value. The robust multi-sectoral representation underlies your well considered appraisal of the wide spectrum of our no-oil sector value chain”.
The Vice President explained that, “the challenges facing our 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 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”.
He stated that, “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, hands deep in the plow.
“Some of our best stories are in the tech sector. In the last seven years 6 tech companies have become Unicorns companies valued at over a billion dollars each, and all this between two recessions .
“So our job as government is to assiduously enable businesses with regulatory policies, procedures and processes that are continuously optimized 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. Again, we are on our way” the Vice President said.
Osibanjo commended the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) for hosting the Conference which he believed would bring practical expansion to the export sector.
“We trust that your deliberations and vigorous exchange of ideas will yield practical and far reaching recommendations, which we believe will further reinvigorate the non-oil sector and the economy at large” he stated.
In his welcome address, the Executive Director of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak said the greater concern of the Council was the Nigerian non-oil export performance.
According to him, “the theme of the Conference, “Export for Survival: Optimizing Nigeria’s Non-Oil Export Potentials” was carefully couched to reflect the Council’s approach in repositioning non -oil export for increased foreign exchange earnings.