Revenue from non-oil exports cascades to $391m
NEPC unfolds strategy to shore up profile
THE much talked about economic diversification may not have found the desired footprint in the nation’s non-oil export, as the profile of the outbound trade has cascaded from $664 million in the second quarter of last year to $391 million during the corresponding period of this year.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), which made the disclosure in Abuja yesterday, attributed the development to insurgency in the country and rejection of the nation’s agriculture produce, especially in Europe.
Indeed, recently, farm produce of Nigeria’s origin had come under the sledge hammer of the European Union for non compliance to globally acceptable standards in product registration, labelling, high concentration of chemical residue and other sundry shortcomings.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo said in Abuja yesterday during a familiarisation visit by the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) that it is important for the service to form a strong synergy with his agency in other to bring to a stop the current embarrassment confronting the nation, due to the volume of export rejects in Europe.
To this end, the council said it would partner with relevant stakeholders who have a stake in the economic equation of Nigeria to achieve a zero reject of Nigerian agricultural produce by 2016.
Comparing the statistics of revenue that accrued to the non-oil sector in the past few years, Awolowo said in 2013, $2.97billion was recorded, a figure he said represented 15.9 percent increase over the $2.56 billion achieved in 2012.
He lamented however that the figure drastically dropped to $664 million in the second quarter of 2014 and further went down to $391million in the second quarter of this year.
According to him, “the country has taken a dip of 60 per cent in oil revenue. For any country across the world, it is huge. Under this circumstance, what could ordinarily be the next thing is to push our non-oil export.
“ However, the challenges we are having in the oil sector are also affecting the value of our non-oil export. The situation is compounded with the non payment of the Export Expansion Grant(EEG) and the insurgence in the North East which is the agricultural basket of the nation’’.
He said the committee on fact finding on the issue was in the United Kingdom to have a one hand information on the basis for the rejects and it was shocking that majority of Nigerian goods were rejected due to improper documentation, because exporters fell into the hands of those that were not authorised by the government to engage in such documentation and as such, everything they claimed to have documented for the exporters were fake.
“In a bid to unearth the reasons behind the rejection of our export produce in Europe, we went to London with seven agencies of government.