Nairametrics|As part of efforts to boost non oil exports, the Federal Government has recommenced the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme and will pay outstanding arrears which are in excess of N200 billion.
The issues that led to the scheme’s suspension in the first place have not been addressed.
- No assurances that the government conducted a verification exercise to weed out bogus claims
- Prosecution of exporters who faked documentation to obtain EEG have gone cold.
- Making payments with the use of promissory notes has not worked in the country.
- In fact, payments were issued to petroleum marketers who had to go on strike before they were paid.
The EEG was meant to offset custom duties thus making Nigerian goods more competitive. The recommencement of the scheme will especially benefit exporters, whose facilities are often a great distance from airports and seaports.
While several manufacturers and exporters are happy about the resumption, they want the government to do even more. Nigerian producers are still hampered by other issues. This includes poor infrastructure; difficulty in accessing foreign exchange for raw materials and equipment procurement; multiple taxation by the various tiers of government; and high interest rates offered by commercial banks.
The EEG was conceived by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration as part of government efforts to deepen Nigeria’s non oil exports. The scheme was suspended by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 due to allegations of abuse within the scheme. While the administration promised to resume the scheme, it never did so till leaving office.