NEPC urges value-addition to improve forex earnings
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has emphasised the need for the nation to embark on an aggressive move to scale up its non-oil export products while also taking cognisance of value addition to earn foreign exchange for the country.
Besides, the NEPC unveiled plans to help exporters get their products into the global markets through a partnership with a logistics firm, American Airsea Cargo, as part of measures to address competitiveness and market access challenges.
Indeed, the agency identified steps it had taken in deploying its one state, one product campaign to drive non-oil export growth in the country, maintaining that Nigeria must take advantage of opportunities where it has competitive and comparative advantage to become self sufficient and also a global net exporter of non-oil export products.
The Regional Coordinator, South West Zone, Mr. Babatunde Faleke, while addressing journalists in Lagos, explained that most States have already started embracing its campaign by investing in products they have the capacity and competitive advantage of producing.
“Our one State, one product campaign is currently being embraced by a lot of states. Ogun State has signed an agreement on cotton production and this is good for textile, while Osun has also started replanting cashew.
“The States are responding very well by giving us offices in different States. People are already embracing the campaign. We must earn foreign exchange for us to break through it is either we export or we perish,” he said.
He added that the Federal Government has established an export stimulation one digit loan of about N500 billion to be managed by NEXIM to reduce the cost of fund thereby encouraging local investments.
In his words: “This is a welcome development because it will bring down the cost of fund which would go a long way to encourage local Investment. What is needed now is the federal government to encourage investment in the one State-one product campaign which we can even have more than one product, but invest in one as the driving force after which we can scale up the production while also adding value for exportation.”
“Take rice for example, its world traded value is worth over $20 billion. We can produce rice and export it to Iran, Iraq and even Saudi Arabia. They need our rice, but we need to produce to first of all satisfy local demands. Every state that has opportunity to grow rice should invest massively in rice production,” he advised.
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