Efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the non-oil export sector got a boost on Tuesday, as the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) agreed to deepen their collaboration to promote trade and investments in the sector.
The partnership is sequel to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between both agencies of government.
The event was held in the conference room of NIPC head office, Abuja.
The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, while commending the Executive Secretary of NIPC, Mrs Saratu Umar, for the initiative, noted that the partnership would provide a platform for synergy with other relevant stakeholders in the sector.
Awolowo stressed that there was need to direct the FDIs to the manufacturing sectors, as it was the only way to create wealth and employment, adding that the council was working on a tripartite agreement among it, NIPC and Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), which would stimulate investments and industrial production clusters for export.
He identified 13 National Strategic Export Products (NESPs) that will replace oil, saying that it will be supported by two key NEPC initiatives – the One State One Product (OSOP) and Nigerian Diaspora Export Programme (NDEX).
Awolowo lamented that the challenges before exporters and competitiveness of exportable products in the international market were issues of poor quality, standards, high cost of doing business as a result of inadequate infrastructure, technical expertise, among others.
In her remarks, Mrs Umar said for Nigeria to remain the highest recipient of FDI in Africa, pulling 10 per cent of the total FDIs in the continent, there is the need for the commission to form partnership with other relevant agencies and stakeholders to drive investments in the non-oil sector.
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