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N577.6bn earned from non-oil exports in Q1 — NBS

N577.6bn earned from non-oil exports in Q1 — NBS

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Ifeanyi Onuba

Between January and March this year, the country earned a total amount of N577bn from exports of non-oil products, figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics have revealed.

An analysis of the merchandise trade report for the first quarter of this year showed that the country had been experiencing steady decline in non-oil exports.

The document stated that the non-oil export value of N577.64bn was about 12.3 per cent of the total exports of N4.69tn, which the economy recorded in the first quarter of this year.

Some of the exported products, according to the document, are sesame seed, with a value of N26.65bn; raw cocoa beans estimated at N6.03bn; fermented cocoa beans, N23.29bn; cashew nuts, N5.03bn; and soya beans, N3.45bn.

Others are frozen shrimps and prawn, N1.72bn; four meals, N1.12bn; ginger, N942.38m; flower buds, N432.44m; fat and oil of cocoa, N409.26m; groundnuts, N392.2m; plants used in perfumery, N165.4m; and edible roots, N139.56m.

In the same vein, cotton had a total export value of N139.15m; onions and shallots, N128.2m; and Shea oils, N101.9m, among others.

In terms of region of Nigeria’s exports, the report stated that in the first quarter of 2018, Europe and Asia remained the top two export destination continents.

It stated that the value of exports to the two continents showed a steady growth of 48.47 per cent and 26.81 per cent, respectively compared to the previous quarter.

The report added that exports from Nigeria were mainly sent to the Netherlands, India, Spain, United States and France in the reviewed quarter.

Speaking on the development, the Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Mr. Segun Awolowo, said the agency was grooming a new crop of non-oil exporters who would assist in diversifying the economy.

He noted that the fiscal strategy of the government for the next three years was based on the growth of the non-oil sector.

Awolowo stated, “The Federal Government’s fiscal strategy framework for the next three years is based on non-oil. Recent developments on the global commodities’ market have triggered a wakeup call on the need for us to accelerate the diversification of our economy, moving away from an overdependence on oil as our main source of revenue.

“The zero to export programme will go a long way to address constraints of the export sector, which include inadequate skills and poor access to finance.”

He said that the effective implementation of the NEPC new strategy on non-oil exports would enable the country increase to its foreign exchange reserves to $150bn in the next 10 years.

The NEPC boss stated that through the zero-oil plan, the commission had identified 22 priority countries as markets for Nigerian products, while 11 strategic products with high financial value had also been identified to replace oil.

These products, according to him, are palm oil, cashew, cocoa, soya beans, rubber, rice, petrochemicals, leather, ginger, cotton, and Shea butter.

He said, “Nigeria is in need of an export revolution, because we can no longer continue to rely on oil for our survival.

“We have set clear output targets for products in agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals and the downstream petroleum sector, and create clear mechanisms to get these non-oil products to our ports and into foreign markets.”

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, had during a meeting with members of the Organised Private Sector Exporters Association, said the Federal Government would address impediments affecting the non-oil export sector of the economy.

The minister assured the group that the present administration would address the plights of its members with key policies as highlighted in the budget.

He stated, “We understand all issues your association has raised, like difficulties in securing foreign exchange, decline in Nigerian exports, inadequate export incentive and export grant.

“Government is working towards reviewing our economy and business environment; we will soon provide a clear and properly coordinated policies that will increase local production of goods, especially Nigerian exports good.

“Importantly, your association is an economic diversification vital pillar fully required by this administration and must be fully supported.”

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