The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) plans to increase non-oil export earnings to $30bn in five years.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NEPC, Segun Awolowo, disclosed this while paying a courtesy call on the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, in Abuja.
Awolowo explained that the NEPC had more recently developed the Zero Oil Plan, in response to the Federal Government’s charge that Nigeria must begin to look for new drivers of the economy.
He said, “The plan is to build a non-oil economy through 11 strategic products\sectors, and 21 countries for Nigerian goods and to grow non-oil foreign exchange from $2.7bn today, to $30bn in five years.
While commending the NEPC for the plan, the minister, according to a statement from the NEPC, announced plans to organise a National Agricultural Summit aimed at engaging the youth and changing the belief that agriculture was only meant for the never-do-well in the society.
He expressed the confidence that the challenges surrounding total diversification from oil to non-oil were not insurmountable.
However, he maintained that the same advocacy must be carried to the doorsteps of the governors in their respective states in order to make the states self-reliant and increase their Internally Generated Revenue.
The factors that would transform the sector, he pointed out, include international best practices in agriculture within the entire value-chain in terms of quality and standards, logistics, cultivation of high-yielding species, production, mechanisation, processing, good preservation methods, marketing and packaging.
Awolowo informed the minister that as part of its strategies to reposition the non-oil export sector, the NEPC had adopted several programmes, including the One-State-One-Product Programme which allows each state to develop a product where it has competitive edge and which can do well in the international market, the National Strategic Export Products consisting of 13 products in three categories.
He added that the three product categories include agro-industrial (palm oil, cocoa, cashew, sugar and rice), mining-related products (cement, iron ore/metals, auto parts/cars, aluminum), oil and gas industrial products (petroleum products, fertilizer/urea, petrochemical and methanol).
He said there was also the Nigerian Diaspora Export Programme, consisting of three major components; Cuisine beyond borders, establishment of Nigerian Heritage Houses, and encouraging Nigerians in the Diaspora to invest in the non-oil export sector.
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