In the next 18 months, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has restated the dedication of the Federal Government towards tripling income generation from sectors other than oil. In Kano, a revelation was made by Nonye Ayeni, the Executive Director of NEPC, concerning the loss of agricultural commodity to neighbouring countries through the porous borders. It is shocking to note that in 2022 alone, the country suffered a loss of over ₦21 billion in this regard.
Despite this unfortunate situation, NEPC remains steadfast in its commitment to the cause. She informed the stakeholders about the government’s determination to tackle the challenges that are obstructing the smooth facilitation of exports from Nigeria. Additionally, she stated that NEPC is fully committed to promoting the involvement of more individuals in the industry. The newly-appointed head of NEPC revealed that the federal government is simplifying the process for 15 agricultural products, from farm to market.
Enhancing the production of non-oil goods for overseas trade.
This simplification will ultimately enhance production and make exporting more feasible. Some of the products that will benefit from this streamlining effort are sesame seeds, peanuts, cashews, sorghum, beans, and hibiscus flowers. Despite Ayeni’s acknowledgment that the initiative would not disregard other products, she emphasized that particular emphasis would be placed on the chosen products. Ayeni further stated that the Federal Government is actively involved in promoting the establishment of processing companies aimed at enhancing the worth of agricultural products.
Furthermore, this initiative aims to generate employment opportunities, stimulate economic diversification, and enhance foreign earnings. She emphasized that the implementation of its primary objective to diversify the economy by supporting and enhancing the production of non-oil goods for overseas trade aligns perfectly with the current administration’s agenda for a renewed sense of hope. Regarding the issue of other countries rejecting Nigerian products, the head of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) assured stakeholders that the government is taking action.
Establishing foundation factory and laboratory centres within FTZs.
Hence, this action by the government is taken by setting up laboratories, packaging facilities, and aggregation centers in Free Trade Zones (FTZ) to ensure that our products meet international standards before they are exported. According to her statement, their focus is on establishing foundation factory and laboratory centres within their free trade zones (FTZ). It is crucial for them to tackle the issues of product rejection and low quality. The Council has a goal for positive changes in exports.
Their goal is to bring about a positive change in the country’s exports. Within a span of 18 months, this goal by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is supposed to be achieved. Additionally, they need to prioritize adding value to Nigerian products prior to exporting. This task has been assigned as an important agenda by the Federal Government of Nigeria, and the Council must firmly adhere to it. During the interactive meeting, the stakeholders brought up various issues regarding exportation.
Commitment to making every effort to address them effectively.
These included concerns about being subjected to multiple taxes, facing complicated procedures and obstacles in obtaining product certification, as well as dealing with the problem of product rejection. Rest assured, they have acknowledged these challenges and are committed to making every effort to address them effectively. The intended implementation of laboratories was met with resounding approval from the interested parties. They expressed their belief that this initiative would effectively alleviate the various challenges encountered at the port.