NEPC targets $30bn forex with zero-oil scheme

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has said that Nigeria is targeting $30bn in foreign exchange earnings with the zero-oil scheme.

The Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, stated this in Lagos during the second National Committee on Export Promotion meeting.

Awolowo noted that the zero-oil plan was an export revolution that involved every state playing a significant role.

“The zero-oil plan is aimed at earning at least $30bn from non-oil sources in the near to medium term as against the current earnings of about $5bn,” he said.

The NEPC boss pointed out that major oil producing nations were planning their economy beyond oil export, and Nigeria must not be left behind.

Also speaking, the Governor, Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, commended the Federal Government for establishing the zero-oil policy, adding that it would boost the nation’s balance of trade.

The governor called for subsidy on other commodities to reduce the cost of food for Nigerians, adding that this was possible since rice subsidy had been successful.

He said that beyond commodity export itemised in the zero-oil policy, Nigeria should evolve mechanism to export Afrobeat, arts and fashion, adding that they were in high demand in the global market.

According to him, the country should put in place infrastructure and institutional frameworks to drive its zero-oil policy to success that will translate to wealth for the country.

He stressed that Nigeria with the highest Gross Domestic Product in Africa must take advantage of its large market to boost export of its natural endowments.

Also speaking, Secretary, National Economic Council, Mr Olajide Odewale, said that no economy could survive with just one commodity, saying that NEC took the initiative to drive economic diversification through the zero-oil plan.

He said that the federal and state governments partnered through the plan to enhance economic growth, boost foreign earnings, reduce poverty among Nigerians and create jobs.

According to him, the zero-oil plan seeks to increase the foreign reserve to $150bn in the next 10 years, create additional 500,000 jobs, lift 10 million Nigerians from poverty and integrate each state of the federation into the export value chain.

Olawale said that the government would continue to invest in critical infrastructure and create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

The Senior Special Adviser to Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor on Development Finance, Mr Tunde Akande, said that the CBN would replicate its Anchor Borrowers Programme for export promotion.

He said that the ABP had recorded tremendous developmental impact on smallholder farmers, boosted value chain economy in various local communities and increased sustainable participation of private sector in agriculture.

He said that as of June, ABP had disbursed N89.5bn to 398, 704 farmers and supported 10 different commodities across the country.

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