BY Dikachi Elemba, in Owerri
Nigeria exported non-oil products to different countries worth $3.455 billion in 2021, Ezra Yakusak, the executive director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) said at a seminar organised by the NEPC in Owerri, the Imo State capital, recently.
The 2021 figure represents a record increase in non-oil export revenues from the $2.21 billion generated in 2020.
Yakusak, who was represented by Anthony Ajuruchi, NEPC’s trade promotion advisor in Imo State, stated that the council was able to achieve this as a result of the implementation of its current mantra, ‘Export for Survival’.
He urged media practitioners to prioritise the exportation of non-oil products as a means of marketing Nigeria’s indigenous products at the international level and diversifying her economy for survival.
He commended exporters in Imo State for manufacturing products worth over $2.3 million from 2016 to 2021 and exporting the same to countries such as Poland, USA, Dubai, Italy and Australia.
“As a stakeholder, NEPC has been working assiduously with other relevant government institutions handling the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to ensure seamless implementation and gainful participation.
“Non-oil exports have become the only means of survival for Nigeria as a nation, hence the need to partner with you journalists in educating the public and taking the activities of the Council to the grassroots,” he said.
Ajuruchi said that the NEPC in Imo had organised workshops for the enlightenment of exporters in the state on seamless procedures for exportation and the ease of doing business policy of the federal government.
Ajuruchi went further to say that the NEPC, through its one-state-one-product initiative, was collaborating with state governments to develop products with comparative advantage for export as part of the federal government’s economic recovery and growth plan.
Moreover, he thanked Governor Hope Uzodinma for providing the enabling business environment for NEPC’s activities and called for more support from his government.
He went further to add that the federal government had assisted companies with necessary certification to penetrate the global market.
“Due to the vigorous efforts of the NEPC and indigenous exporters, local products such as palm kernel shells, breadfruit, cashew nuts, bitter kola, egusi, ogbono, oha, ogiri, uziza, ofor and crayfish, have gone international.
“In 2021, the federal government, through the NEPC, administered grants to small and medium scale enterprises and performing exporters under the Export Expansion Facility Programme, and facilitated certification of export companies,” he said.