Fed Govt earns $3b from non-oil exports

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Sep 1st, 2014
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Nigeria’s non-oil exports grew by 15.9 per cent to $3 billion in 2013, a data by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has shown.

But non-oil exports from the country to other membercountries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) stood at $375 million during the period, showing an increase of 20 per cent year-on-year.

The FBN Capital Research, which gave the figures in a report released at the weekend, said inflows from the segment of the economy were encouraging.

It said cocoa emerged as the leading non-oil export commodity, earning $759 million. Nigeria is ranked the world’s fourth largest exporter of cocoa and its by-products.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council Amendment Decree No. 64 of 1992 was promulgated to enhance the performance of the council by minimising bureaucratic bottlenecks and increasing autonomy in dealing with members of the organised private sector (OPS). The council has a governing board drawn from the public and the private sectors.

The investment and research firm listed Nigeria, Angola and South Africa as the three leading exporters to the United States  in 2013 within the provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

For Nigeria to effectively tap into the segment, the firm said export commodities should meet high standards to compete in the global market.

The NEPC, the firm said, identified 14 key non-traditional products which offered comparative advantage. Cassava, shea products and potatoes featured on the list.

The report said: “Equally, there are multiple challenges for non-oil exporters. These include infrastructure deficiencies, high costs of production and weak logistics.  A disturbing obstacle is the bad reputation associated with the products, which has led manufacturers in some segments to brand their goods other than ‘made in Nigeria’.”

It said Nigerian cuisine and the film industry (Nollywood) are areas the government  intended to promote globally.

Taking a cue from China, which has a strong global presence in the export of its cuisine, the government, the report added, would initially focus on cities, such as London, Houston, Toronto and Johannesburg, which have high Diaspora population.

“We see sustained growth ahead in export diversification due to developments in agribusiness, the cement segment and mining. While substantial oil production losses may have raised the profile of non-oil exports, we should remember that Nigeria’s economic model is based on import substitution rather than export diversification,” it said.

The government’s focus, the report added, was the creation of employment through import substitution, preferably in the taxpaying formal economy, and the resulting foreign exchange savings from the domestic production of, for example, food crops, vehicles and petroleum products.

Already, the NEPC and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) are exploring new areas of development and promotion of the Non-oil Export sector.

The council has collaborated with the UNIDO in human capital development with the establishment of leather and leather products Common Facility Centre (CFC) at Aba, Abia State; Kano CFC, on textiles and the Human Capital Development Centre (HCDC) also known as the AGOA Training School in Ikoyi, Lagos.

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