Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama
Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama said Thursday that a total sum of N254.96 billion had been extended as grant to export manufacturers between 2005 till date.
This, he said, was aimed at encouraging manufacturers and producers of export crops to increase their exports under the Federal Government's Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme which is targeted at economic diversification.
He added that the value of total non-oil export had risen to about $3.2 billion from only about $100 million in 2005 as a result of the grants.
Addressing journalists in Abuja at the end of a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on the implementation of the EEG scheme, Ngama said the scheme had been of immense assistance to manufacturers.
He said: "As at December 2005, total export of non-oil products just came to $100 million. But as at the end of 2011, total export was $3.2 billion. So if you compute, you have over 300 per cent growth in export. So it is evident that the EEG scheme has been successful."
He, said, however, that two major reviews were underway.
According to him, the first would be to categorise the manufacturers and producers of export goods in order to take the peculiarities of every sub-sector into properly consideration.
The committee is also looking into how to compensate and determine computation of the grant.
Its agreements are however, to be submitted to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.
The minister said the proposed review was base on the "Realisation that the scheme has been successful and our manufacturers and producers of export goods have performed so well that even the threshold that we put for them before you become elligible to benefit. They've met all these thresholds and therefore, they want the standards to be enhanced.
"You know when somebody is doing well, you have to lift the standard and one thing we have agreed here is to actually move this threshold in order to move the minimum acceptable threshold higher and they have assured us that they are going to meet it and even beat it. And I think we have to congratulate them for what they have done and even shifting the goal post because they want to do more."
But the minister declined to reveal what the current threshold is and what was being proposed.
"The performance has been so well to the extent that we have agreed to move the goal post because they think whatever you say they should do, they can even do more."
He said: "The Nigerian economy needs to be diversified and the good news is that the transformation agenda of government of President Goodluck Jonathan is working and the evidence is the decision we reach today."
The ministerial committee is currently the highest policy making body as far as managing the EEG scheme is concerned-and it reports directly to president through the FEC.