EU, Germany move to grow Nigeria’s non-oil sector

Head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West Africa States, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen

The European Union (EU) and German government are to boost activities in Nigeria’s non-oil sector by empowering medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and aiding their access to regional and international markets.

The move, being consummated through the Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP), a four-year project commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co- funded by the EU, is to gulp €11 million.

During its launch at the weekend in Abuja, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Karlsen Ketil, said the project was to strengthen investment in the country.

According to him, Nigeria must look beyond oil revenue for it to achieve sustainable development.

“If we combine the factor of increased population and increasing rate of unemployment, we must therefore invest in sectors that will create employment. If we are to see increase in employment in Nigeria, there is need to allow diversification take place beyond oil revenue,” he stated.

The minister, Okechukwu Enelama, noted that the move would compliment other initiatives of government in ensuring a steady growth of the economy, especially in the area of diversification.

Represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Edet Akpan, he observed that for the programme to be successful, the private sector was crucial to the stronger integration of the nation into the regional market.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday confirmed receipt and subsequent disbursement of N1.563 trillion for joint venture (JV) servicing and others from oil companies in the last one year.

In its January financial statement, the corporation also recorded a trade surplus of N15.04 billion for the month, indicating an increase of 24 per cent over the N12.13 billion figures posted in December 2018.

Export receipts of $381.70 million were equally posted for the month under review as against the $345.68 million tally of the previous month covering sales and remittances of crude oil.

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