By Ismaila Chafe
The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, says the council has begun the implementation of the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) to move the nation away from pandemic to prosperity.
Awolowo stated this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of closed doors meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday.
He said the programme would create additional job opportunities for women and youths across the country.
According to him, the EEFP is phenomenal commitment by the Federal Government to non-oil exports and the first of its kind in Nigeria’s history.
He said ”The EEFP will create jobs, employ women and youths. We will make sure the money gets to our exporting companies that really need it and expand the space for participation in non-oil exports by engaging in the entire eco-system including value chains.
“Money will not be concentrated in a few hands. We are moving from `#Pandemic2Prosperity.”
He, therefore, assured that given the steps being taken to improve the non-oil exports, Nigeria would exit its dependence on crude oil revenue in 10 years.
According to the NEPC boss, in the next decade, Nigeria can get 30 billion dollars in terms of non-oil export notwithstanding the effect of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
He said “But more importantly, we must just continue, we must increase production and productivity all across the two sectors that the zero oil plan is postulating for the country and then we get out of it.
“We cannot run an economy that 90 percent of our earnings is from crude oil. It is just not working and that is what we are seeing through out the years when we went into first recession when the world oil prices stood worldwide.
“We need to move again from just raw materials, we need to look at the entire value chain and that is where you create jobs and that is where you earn more money.
“So in ten years time frame we are looking at how to get to $30 billion but we must be consistent, we must invest more in the non oil sector than looking for oil.”
He noted that the biggest surprise had been Nigeria’s swift recovery from recession in fourth quarter of 2020 and congratulated the president for his effort.
“In a now less predictable, less reliable and less generous world, he has definitely demonstrated with his leadership that we are able to build a resilient economy that can absorb all global shocks, whatever they may be, known and unknown,” he added. (NAN)