By Ossom Raphael
Abuja – The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo has confirmed that the sustained effort of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration at economic diversification is paying-off as the Country’s export appreciates by 3.2 per cent.
Base on the recent report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Nigeria’s economy, Awolowo, in chart with journalists in his office,
Mr Awolowo’s reaction is coming on the heels of the recent report released by National Bureau of Statistics on Nigeria’s economy.
Awolowo made this remark in his office while reacting to the Q22017 report on Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics’, in a chat with journalists, saying he is pleased with the positive trade balance which is as a result of increase in exports.
According to him, “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 GCFR in the recently launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)”.
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 2016.
“The economic slowdown which began in 2014 was mainly as a result of shortfall in Nigerian exports, which fell by more than NGN8 trillion a year due to the crash in oil prices. 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.
“I am therefore happy for the achievement of Trade Surplus due to exports. You may recall that in the corresponding period in 2016, our trade balance stood at a deficit of N572.12bn. The statistics released this week shows a trade balance surplus of N506.5bn for Q2 2017”, Awolowo said.
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.
Mr Awolowo, noted that in Q2 2017, the continued strong performance of key agricultural products central to driving the future export agenda in the sector – Cashew nuts alone earned Nigeria NGN13.5 billion, primarily exported to Vietnam, India, and Kazakhstan. Sesame earned NGN7.02 billion, exported mainly to Japan, India and Turkey.
Frozen Shrimps and Prawns earned over NGN2.83 billion,exported mainly to Netherlands, Belgium, and USA. Flour and meals of Soya bean earned NGN2.31 billion, exported mainly to Spain, Ghana and Senegal while Ginger earned NGN633 million, exported mainly to Vietnam, Morocco and Sudan.
Other export products with strong growth potentials especially in the manufacturing sector include Cigarettes containing tobacco to Ivory Coast, Niger, Ghana; Cement to Niger and Chad Republics; Cocoa beans and its derivatives to several countries.
He stressed that the NEPC 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 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)”, Awolowo, said.
Awolow, noted that there are remarkable increases in volumes and value in other sectors signifying efforts at diversifying the economy through a deliberate Plan, adding that raw materials, agriculture, solid minerals and manufactured goods are witnessing Year on Year growth.