The Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Olusegun Awolowo yesterday claimed that the Federal Government (FG) lost N30 trillion to the crash of oil prices between 2015 and 2017. This, according to Awolowo, should force Nigerians to look in the direction of non-oil exports in order to replace the lost revenues as the forecast of crude continues to be unstable at best.
He said this while speaking at the one day NEPC, RVO, CBI Export Roundtable and Exhibition on Export Competency Development programme in Abuja.
“Nigeria must replace these lost export revenues in order to sustain economic growth, stabilise the naira, sustain federal and state government income and boost employment. There is an urgency to ramp up non-oil exports, as our future earnings from crude oil which is facing significant headwinds. This is elevated as the financial outlook on crude oil weakens day by day and poses increasing threat on oil dependent economy just like Nigeria. We are at a critical point in Nigeria’s history which requires bold and decisive action to restructure and reposition our economy to survive without oil.” he said.
As a result, the National Economic Management team established the national committee on export promotion to ensure effective coordination of the zero oil plan in the 36 states of the federation. In addition, his Council has set increased targets for the non-oil exports of the country’s economy.
“The council’s goal is to grow Nigeria’s non-oil export revenue from N1.5trillion per annum to N5trillion within three to four years, and over N10trillion over the longer term… Our export outlook in 2017 shows some positive developments. A lot of cashew plantation with jumbo varieties are springing up, from a raw cashew production of about 150,000tons to 15,000 tons are processed in Nigeria which is just 10 per cent. We see enormous potential in processing.” Awolowo revealed.