AS the country continues to grapple with dwindling oil revenue, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has revealed strategies to contribute about $150 billion into Nigerian foreign reserve over the next ten years through aggressive exports of non-oil products.
During a roundtable discussion with local investors Tuesday in Abuja, the Executive Director of NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo disclosed that, the vision of the organization is to replace oil as the major national foreign exchange earner of Nigeria.
According to him, “our vision is to add an extra $150 billion into our foreign reserve within the next ten years.”
Awolowo revealed that the organization has put in place a program (OSOP) to identify at least one strategic export product in each state of the federation for the purpose of giving these products the necessary boost to meet export requirements.
He lamented that Nigeria has typically funded its rising import bills to the sum of $50 billion of its earning annually. “Nigeria has an export inertia problem that has brought the country to the present state of financial difficulties”.
Awolowo said NEPC is working with stakeholders and the focus is to look inwards as a strategy to reposition the economy for sustainable development using the Zero Oil Plan (ZOP).
He noted that the ZOP identifies 22 countries as markets for Nigerian products as well as 11 strategic products with high financial value to replace oil. These products, Awolowo said include palm oil, cashew, cocoa, soya beans, rice, rubber, petro-chemical, leather among others.
The Executive Director added that Nigeria must scale-up domestic production to unprecedented levels and create competitive channels to move cargos and get goods into foreign markets.
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation of local investors, Sen. Shehu Sani, lauded NEPC for its efforts to increase the country’s non-oil revenue.