The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has said that Nigeria will do away with dependence on crude oil revenue in the next 10 years as non-oil exports is expected to contribute over $30 billion to the economy.
The executive director and chief executive officer of the agency, Mr. Segun Awolowo, stated this in an interview with journalists after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, yesterday.
He said despite the effect of the ravaging COVID-19, the projection was feasible given the steps taken to improve the non-oil exports.
“But more importantly, we must just continue; we must increase production and productivity all across the two sectors that the zero oil plan is postulating for the country and then we get out of it.
“We cannot run an economy that 90 per cent of our earnings are from crude oil. It is just not working and that is what we are seeing throughout the years when we went into first recession when the world oil prices stood worldwide.”
While noting the changing world dynamics, he said: “We need to move again from just raw materials, we need to look at the entire value chain and that is where you create jobs and that is where you earn more money.
“So ten years time frame we are looking at to get to $30 billion but we must be consistent, we must invest more in the non oil sector than looking for oil.”
Acknowledging the president’s support to NEPC and the non-oil export sector, he recalled that the non-oil exports sector was experiencing challenges, especially with the basic incentive, the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) being suspended, with over N350 billion in unpaid claims.
“The situation had dire effects on exporters; some shut down plants, some laid off people thereby increasing the number of unemployed population. Mr. President rescued the situation with his approval of the new EEG scheme,” he added.