James Emejo in Abuja
The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, Thursday disclosed that the Federal Government was set to issue Promissory Notes valued at N195.08 billion to 270 companies to offset part of the Export Expansion Grant liabilities to exporters.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ forum on the framework for the issuance of the promissory notes for the settlement of the outstanding EEG, he said government will clear the EEG arrears from 2007 to 2016.
The intervention will provide a boost for the sector and revive export activities which are critical for economic diversification and foreign exchange earnings for the country
Awolowo said: “The assent in January 2019 by the National Assembly of the first batch of the request and the subsequent directives by the Minister of Finance to the Debt Management Office for the settlement of the EEG covering backlogs of ten years for 270 companies with a total value of N195.08 billion will bring succour to the export sector.
“We also have positive signal that the National Assembly will soon pass the second batch of the approval for the remaining 39 companies with a total value of about N126 billion only.
“It is our fervent believe that the settlement of this inherited debt by the Federal Government will pave the way for the revival of the non oil export sector of the economy.
“It will in no small measure enable the affected companies settle their debts with banks and other financial institutions, inject funds for further export activities, generate more foreign exchange as well as employment for the teeming youth of our country.”
He said the reactivation of the EEG scheme, after its technical suspension in 2014, and settlement of the outstanding claims owed exporters was in line with the Federal Government’s focus on diversification of the economy through non-oil exports.
On the country’s export earnings, Awolowo said 2017 and 2018 had experienced an upward trend.
According to him, there was a growth of 48.43 per cent from $1.2 billion in 2016 to $1.78 billion before hitting $2.27 billion in 2018.
He said exports earnings for the 2019 fiscal period was expected to grow by about 40 per cent in view of the settlement of the exporters’ debt through Promissory Note programme.