Lack of production responsible for low volume of non oil export in 2016 —NEPC

Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo,  has said that the low volume of non oil export in the first half of 2016 was due to low production in the country.

Awolowo stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the country moved from almost three billion dollars in 2014 to less than 1.6 billion dollars 2015, adding that it would be much lower in 2016.

“We are not improving, the statistics in figure are very low and we are moving from almost three billion dollars in 2014 to less than 1.6 billion dollars in 2015; it is going to be lower in 2016.

“The factors responsible for this are low oil price and then manufacturing is almost dead, if you do not produce you cannot export.

“It is what is produced, manufactured and grown in Nigeria that we can export,’’ Awolowo said.

He said the country was not replanting cocoa and cashew trees, adding that such would affect exportation of the products.

Awolowo said to address the challenges, the council started a programme called ‘Zero Oil Plan.’

He said the plan identified 21 priority countries as markets for Nigerian products (termed “Export 21”).

Awolowo added that the plan also identified 11 strategic export products with high financial value to replace oil.

He said the strategic ones are Petrochemicals, Palm Oil, Cocoa, Soybeans, Rubber among others.

“To achieve this, Nigeria must scale up domestic production to levels unprecedented and create competitive channels to move cargo and get goods into foreign markets,’’ he said.

Awolowo said the plan would facilitate export intermediaries to source products from millions of micro, small and medium enterprises, thereby providing employment for millions of youths across the country.

Awolowo said the country must increase its productivity, productive capacity and improve the industries as well as look at the value chain to boost exportation.