James Emejo in Abuja
The Executive Director/Chief Executive, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mrs. Nonye Ayeni, yesterday disclosed that the country attracted the sum of $4.5 billion from non-oil exports last year.
She said since her assumption of office in October 2023, the performance of the non-oil export sector had further indicated massive potential for growth and economic diversification.
Speaking at the presentation of the progress report on the non-oil export performance for 2023, she stressed that an increase in the volume and value of exportable goods and services and the repatriation of export proceeds will enhance foreign exchange inflow into the country as well as assist to stabilise the value of the Naira.
However, the non-oil export revenues declined by 6.25 per cent compared to $4.8 billion recorded in 2022.
Ayeni attributed the shortfall to instances of export rejection, the 2023 general election, economic recession among others, adding that though there was a decline in value exported, a substantial volume increase was recorded.
According to the NEPC chief executive, the volume of non-oil export continued to increase over the years with 6.685 million metric tonnes of exportable products last year, thereby reaffirming the widely held assertion that the sector holds the key to economic revitalization.
She said 273 different products were reported to have been exported in the period under review ranging from manufactured, semi-processed, solid minerals to agricultural commodities.
The figure reflected a notable increase of 28.04 per cent compared to the preceding year.
Records from Pre-shipment Inspection Agents (PIAs) showed that of the top 20 products exported in 2023, urea, cocoa beans, sesame seed, soya beans/meal, cashew nuts/kernels, aluminum ingots, and hibiscus flower topped the list respectively.
She said the council remained committed to consistently building the capacity of non-oil exporters across the value chains on product, and market development among other requisite skills to enable them to penetrate the international market.
She said a total of 92 capacity-building programmes were held across the NEPC regional offices in the six geo-political zones with 13,751 participants within the review period.
Ayeni said, “NEPC is very optimistic, and remains committed to working with the various stakeholders to ensure that our non-oil export doubles in a short time.
“This aligns with the Industrial Revitalization Agenda of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite and the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for job creation, poverty alleviation and economic growth, development and diversification.”