NEPC boss briefs Buhari, says government efforts will change over dependence on oil

The Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Segun Awolowo, has given assurance that with the steps being taken by government to improve the non-oil exports, Nigeria will exit its dependence on crude oil revenue in ten years.

Awolowo said this while addressing state house correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday.

The NEPC boss said in the next decade, Nigeria can get $30 billion in terms of non oil export not withstanding the effect of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that Nigeria cannot run an economy where 90 percent of its earnings is from crude oil.

He said It is not working and that is why the country went into first recession when the world oil prices dropped 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 EEG claims.

On the implementation of the Zero Oil Plan, the NEPC boss affirmed that it has received enormous support and buy-in even as it is integrated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, adding that the National Economic Council has set up a National Committee on Exports to drive it.

He observed that the biggest surprise has been Nigeria’s swift recovery from recession in Q4 of 2020 and congratulated the president for his effort.

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