The Nigerian Economy is beginning to record positive trade balance which is as a result of increase in exports.
The Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo made the assertion while reacting to the recent release made by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the Q2, 2017 report on Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics.
The report, which covered seven sectors, namely; Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Raw Materials, Solid Minerals, Manufactured Goods, Energy and other Oil related goods puts Nigeria’s total export value at N3.1 Trillion in Q2, 2017 representing an increase of 3.2% over Q1 2017 and a very significant 73.48% over Q2 in 2016.
He said sustained effort of the Buhari Administration aimed at economic diversification was paying-off as the growth of 3.2% in export attest to the fact that the economy is on the path of growth.
“This is proof that the economy has indeed recovered from recession and is on its way to sustainable growth as envisioned by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in the recently launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).”
“As expected, we therefore see a strong correlation between economic recovery and improved export trade i.e. as exports increase, the economy improves. Current efforts by the Government to accelerate the development of a more diversified economy, with emphasis on non-oil exports, has started to yield positive results,” Awolowo continued
He called for all hands to be on deck to build a stronger and more vibrant economy as the council would continue to leverage on the power of export to transform the economy.
“I am happy for the achievement of Trade Surplus due to exports.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) focuses entirely on leveraging the power of exports to transform the Nigerian economy, create jobs, lift people out of poverty, and strengthen the government’s finances,” the NEPC boss said.
He reiterated the councils commitment to support nigeria’s economic growth in line with its Zero Oil Agenda.
“Our efforts in the coming months will be to deepen Nigeria’s product penetration into these and other countries; and to radically increase the volume and value of our sales.
Although oil continues to dominate our exports with crude accounting for42.57% and other oil products 21.86%, the future of our economy is beyond oil as clearly laid out in the ‘Zero Oil Agenda’ which is central in the Nigerian Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP).
As observed from the report, there are remarkable increases in volumes and value in other sectors signifying efforts at diversifying the economy through a deliberate Plan. Hence, raw materials, agriculture, solid minerals and manufactured goods are witnessing Year on Year growth.
Businesses in the non-oil sector have benefited from FGN initiatives and efforts,” Awolowo added.
“For instance, Trade Promotion and Facilitation activities of NEPC over the last three years working in partnership with USAID NEXTT and the Cashew Sector opened up new market for Cashew with Vietnam. In Q2 2017, Cashew dominated the agricultural goods export at a value of N13.556bn, out of which export value to Vietnam alone was N12.16bn.
The vision in coming months and years therefore, is to continue growing the size of Nigeria’s export revenue, but just as importantly, to change the shape and structure of the national export basket until it is overweight non-oil. We at the Nigerian Export Promotion Council are confident that Nigeria can achieve the same. Our economic future is tied to the export revolution,” he said.
Mr Awolowo maintained that the lifting of the suspension of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) and the re-activation of the Export Development Fund (EDF), would continue to stimulate the growth of the non-oil export sector, increasing the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP.