The Federal government has reiterated its commitment to grow the economy and non-oil export while leveraging the ease of doing business to expand foreign exchange.
Vice President, Kashim Shettima, made this known yesterday while declaring open the second National Conference on Non-oil Export, organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in Abuja.
Represented by the Special Assistant on Ease of Doing Business in the Office of the Vice President, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, said the recent steps such as the foreign trips embarked upon by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently to shop for investors explain the current administration’s desire to diversify the economy.
The VP described the theme of the conference – ‘Building a Sustainable National Economy through Non-oil Export’ – as timely, especially now that Nigeria is faced with numerous economic challenges.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, lamented that for too long, Nigeria has operated a mono-economy, focusing on oil and gas to the detriment of other exportable commodities
She stressed that the country’s diversification efforts were, however, beginning to yield fruits.
“Nigerian non-oil exports grew by almost 40 per cent in 2022, reaching $4.82 billion, semi-processed and manufactured products accounted for almost 37 per cent of these exports, surpassing agriculture’s 30 per cent. This is a big step in the right direction; we no longer have the luxury of business as usual when it comes to the business of making sure that Nigeria succeeds,” she said.
The minister explained that Nigeria could no longer afford to export raw materials cheaply and import finished products at a premium, stressing that the train has stopped and will not be starting again.
She said: “To support local manufacturers, the government intends to spend N75 billion by March 2024 to strengthen the manufacturing sector.