Group wants govt to release of N150b export expansion grant

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The Organised Private Sector Exporters Association (OPEXA), has appealed to the Federal Government to settle a backlog of unutilised Negotiable Duty Credit Certificates (NDCC) amounting to over N150 billion.

The Executive Secretary of OPEXA, Jaiyeola Olanrewaju made the call in a statement he issued in Abuja on the need for urgent intervention by the Buhari administration.

Olanrewaju stated that the operations of non-oil exporters had been paralysed due to the non-payment of the outstanding NDCC claims. The NDCC is an instrument of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG), which was introduced in 1999 to encourage non-oil exports.

The grant is given to Nigerian exporters to cushion the effect of cost disadvantages faced by them as a result of infrastructural deficiencies. NDCCs are utilised by beneficiaries for payment of customs and excise duty on their export shipments after they are validated by the government.

However, the government suspended the scheme in January 2014 to pave way for its review, according to the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Olanrewaju said that the backlog of unutilised NDCCs had accumulated to over N150 billion as at the end of 2013 before the scheme was suspended. This, according to him, has paralysed the operations of exporters leading to a decline in the country’s non-oil exports.

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