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Economy & Politics

NEPC may move into processing soon

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The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo, yesterday in Abuja hinted on the agency\’s plan to go into full time processing and exportation of finished products, in its efforts to ensure a truly diversified economy.

Awolowo, who made this disclosure while speaking to journalists following his reappointment as the head of NEPC, said that the proposed plan would be encouraged by a full implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which was recently launched by the National Economic Council Committee on Export Promotion.

According to him, the NEPC would also work in collaboration with the National Assembly to review and modernise the NEPC Act in order to bring it up to date with modern realities. In the meantime however, he reiterated his resolve to support the country\’s commitment to alternative sources of foreign exchange income away from oil exportation.

I say, it all the time, the Nigerian economy has already been diversified. In fact, we have achieved about 80 percent diversification, but the problem is that we have not earned enough foreign exchange from the diversification. We presently earn foreign exchange from the export of crude oil, which still stands at 90 percent, and that is because we rely much on crude.– Olusegun Awolowo

Speaking further, Awolowo highlighted some of the achievements that have so far been recorded by the NEPC, including the increase of about 200,000 metric tones in the amount of cashew nuts produced and exported from the country last year compared to the 130 metric tones that was produced last year.

About the NEPC

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council was established in 1976 through a military decree, and has since gone through a series of amendments both under successive military and civilian regimes. The sole responsibility of the agency according to the law establishing it is to promote the exportation of non-oil materials from Nigeria in a bid to diversify and build a formidable economic base for the country. Much of this task has not been achieved, despite the many years that have passed since the agency\’s establishment.

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Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs. He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor. Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan. If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Economy & Politics

FG meets group to access AfCFTA’s $650 billion market

AfCFTA is aligned to the ministry’s twin national objectives of industrialization and export based diversification.

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FG meets group to access AfCFTA's $650 billion market, UNIDO’s $60m investment programme to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation - FG, FG to strengthen economic ties with Turkey, FG moves to facilitate tax incentives for SMEs, Made-in-Nigeria vehicles gulp N364 billion from FG

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has met with executives of the Nigerian Agribusiness Group (NABG) on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and access the continent’s market worth $659 billion, in mostly manufacturing goods and services.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo during the meeting on Monday.

READ: AfCFTA delay: A bane to Africa’s $3.4 trillion economic bloc

The minister emphasized on the importance of AfCFTA, as it is aligned to the ministry’s twin national objectives of industrialization and export based diversification. It provides us with a preferential access to African market worth over $650bn, in mostly manufactured goods .

Back story: Nairametrics had reported when Aissata Koffi Yameogo, ECOWAS’ Programmes Officer in charge of implementing AfCFTA rules of origin in the continent, said that the implementation will expand market for the manufacturing industry to 1.3 billion West African citizens, without additional duties and fees.

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“It will build production capacity in the region and develop the value chain, and increased export to other African states” she added.

The benefits would also encourage member states to specialise in the production of a certain good where they have a comparative advantage, thus enhancing the quality and quantity of local production and creating more jobs.

He said, “This would improve our competitiveness and the perception of our products and services in the African market. Intra-African trade in Agro products and services will develop our local value chain, create jobs and increase our GDP.”

READ ALSO: Plentywaka raises $300,000, seeks partners as it launches operations in Abuja

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According to International Monetary Fund (IMF), the elimination of tariffs could boost trade in Africa by 15-25% in the medium term, and once fully implemented, is expected to cover all 55 African countries, with a combined GDP of about US$2.2 trillion.

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Economy & Politics

INEC to introduce election results viewing portal

INEC says the policy would be tested at the Nasarawa State Constituency Bye-Election.

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INEC to introduce election results viewing portal, INEC headquarters gutted by fire

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced the introduction of a dedicated public portal called the INEC Result Viewing (IreV), which would enable Nigerians to view real-time results in polling stations.

This was announced Thursday evening in a statement signed by Festus Okoye, INEC’s Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee.

READ MORE: FIRS boss wants to tax street traders, artisans, others 

“ The Commission is aware that result management has remained a major source of mistrust in our electoral process. INEC is determined to address any source of this concern through enhancing the level of transparency in the conduct of elections,” INEC said.

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READ ALSO: Buhari orders payment of stranded NDDC scholarship students, commission gives reason for delay

INEC also said that it is an important principle for votes during elections to be correctly counted. This new initiative is a major step towards achieving that goal. However, INEC said this does not constitute electronic collation of votes just yet. Instead, “the collation of election results shall remain as provided for by law, a manual process of completion.”

IreV would be tested during the Nasarawa State Constituency Bye-Election scheduled for August 8th, INEC said.

READ MORE: 4.48 million beneficiaries apply for N-Power jobs in 16 days

Concerned Nigerians are advised to visit inecresults.com, create an account, and fill in their details which will lead them to the portal to oversee the collation of votes.

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Economy & Politics

Chinese Loans: Clauses are international standard terms – Amaechi

The probes into Nigeria’s use of foreign loans could negatively affect how foreign lenders perceive the country.

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Nigeria Air, FG states why there is no hurry to resume train operation, Lagos blue rail line ready 2022 , Chinese Loans: Clauses are international standard terms - Amaechi

Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, said the clauses contained in Nigeria’s Chinese loans for infrastructural development are standard international commitment clauses. In other words, such are regular, applicable clauses whenever a country goes into a trade agreement with another country.

The Minister revealed this while on Channels Television’s evening political talk show, Politics Today.

Back story: The Nigerian Senate called a hearing last week, asking the Minister to explain the clauses on Chinese-funded infrastructure projects in Nigeria. Instead, the Minister argued that the probe into Nigeria’s use of foreign loans to finance infrastructure projects could negatively affect how foreign lenders perceive the country and also impact further financing for future projects.

(READ MORE: China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors)

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Later during his recent Channels TV interview, the Minister said Nigeria is not Madagascar or Sri Lanka and has been keeping up with payment plans for the loan. “ No country has complained about Nigeria’s loan obligations,” Amaechi said.

Although he acknowledged Nigeria has debt over revenue problems, he made it clear that “that does not mean we have at any point in time refused to pay our loans.”

Amaechi then claimed that only a criminally-minded person would have issues with the loan terms. “Only those who don’t want to repay are worried about the clauses. If we repay our loans we won’t get arbitration,” he said.

The Minister also disclosed that the Ministry of Finance has repaid up to $98 million of the loans, adding, “those are standard international commitment clauses” and that no loan can be taken by the government without the approval of the National assembly.

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