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NEPC Boss: Why Nigeria must Diversify from Crude Oil Exports



Nigeria exports non-oil products worth $2.6bn first half of 2022—NEPC

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Monday in Abuja reiterated the need to promote non-oil exports for Nigeria to meet its national and global economic demands.

Dr Ezra Yakusak, Executive Director/CEO of NEPC said this at a five-day export promotion capacity-building programme.

The programme designed to train stakeholders in the export sector was organised by Fidelity Bank PLC in partnership with the Lagos Business School (LBS) and NEPC.

Represented by Mr Babatunde Falake, Director, International Export Office, NEPC, Yakusak said that emphasis must shift from crude oil export and be laid on the export of Nigeria’s vast resources.

“Recent developments in our national economy and indeed the global economy have made it clear to us that more emphasis should now be laid on the export of our vast resources if we must survive as a nation.

“It is unfortunate that Nigeria, having been blessed with resources in agriculture, solid minerals, entertainment industry, creative arts, Information and Communication Technology, fashion and of course manufacturing has continued to rely on the export of crude oil as the major source of foreign exchange,’’ Yakusak said.

He said that the council’s zero oil plan developed in response to the recession in 2016 following the crash in crude oil prices, was targeted to prepare Nigeria for a world with less emphasis on the export of crude oil.

According to Yakusak, it is a strategy for boosting foreign exchange through the non-oil export policies for 22 major products that could generate up to $30 billion in foreign exchange within a period of five years

“The 22 products include cotton, petrochemicals, fertilizers, palm oil, rubber, cement, tomatoes, and bananas.

Others are oranges, cashew, cassava, sesame, spices, ginger, shea butter and cowpea,’’ he said.

He expressed NEPC’s commitment to continue to support efforts in sensitising Nigerians to embrace non-oil export as a viable option for economic growth and survival.

“The Council recently launched the ‘Export 4 Survival’ campaign which is aimed at sensitising Nigerians from all walks of life to embrace non-oil export as a viable option for our economic growth and survival.

“The campaign is already making an impact as the council with its activities is now more on the limelight nationwide.

“It is expected that this will definitely result to increased revenue from the non-oil sector in the near future.

“What we are doing today through a partnership with Fidelity Bank and Lagos Business School is highly commendable.

“A look at the various topics for discussion clearly demonstrates our readiness to equip the participants with the required knowledge and skills for successful export business and especially to curtail the rejection of non-oil exports from Nigeria,’’ Yakusak said.

One of the facilitators, Dr Frank Ojadi, Faculty member, Lagos Business School, said that building the capacity of Nigerians and providing the needed infrastructure was critical in attracting people to exports.

“One of the challenges of export trade lies more in equipping people, building their capacity in what exporting means and therefore you need to learn the trade, the processes and the procedures.

“But of course some of the things required for you to export also lie with the infrastructural capabilities of the country and as long as that continues to be a problem, it will impede trade.

“Only recently, I was looking at coastal shipping which ideally should encourage and enhance the AfCFTA trade that has just been signed but of course, the high cost of port shipping is contributing to our not being very competitive enough to export products.

“So, I think very seriously that coastal shipping would help particularly with respect to AfCFTA and then, of course, infrastructural difficulties with shipping would also affect trade going to different parts of the world,’’ Ojadi said.

Mr Emmanuel Nwalor, Team Lead, Export and Agriculture, Fidelity Bank, said that there was a possibility of failure if an exporter lacked the capacity and knowledge to export.

“ Recent developments in the global market occasioned by COVID-19 and volatilities in the oil sector have heightened the need for Nigeria to diversify its economy away from oil.

“To boost non-oil exports and build sustainable export capabilities for Nigerian businesses, Fidelity Bank Plc, Lagos Business School and Nigeria Export Promotion Council initiated the Export Promotion Capacity Building Programme.

“This five-day programme is designed to equip participants with the knowledge, tools and skills required to develop their export business.

“This is in line with global standards, taking advantage of the AFCFTA treaty as well as the new Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy on foreign exchange which emphasises value addition,’’ Nwalor said.

The programme provided a platform for gaining practical insights on non-oil exports and accessing opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement and the RT200 FX Programme.

Entrepreneurs, prospective exporters and financiers of exports are participating in the programme.

Others are export sector regulators, policy makers, Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, State and Federal Government agencies and logistics service providers.

They were taken through topics including an overview of Nigeria’s export activities, an assessment of the potential to become a successful exporter and how to list products on major international e-commerce platforms.



Makinde Presents N434.2bn 2024 Budget Proposal For Oyo State



PDP’s Agboworin wins House of Representatives re-run election in Oyo

 Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday presented a budget of N434.2 billion for 2024 to the State House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

According to Makinde, the budget is made up of N222.3 billion for capital expenditure, and N211.8 billion for recurrent expenditure.

Presenting the budget tagged: “Budget of Economic Recovery”, the governor said the capital expenditure is 2.4 percent higher than the recurrent expenditure.

He added that the 2024 budget was estimating an increased Internally Generated Revenue of N72 billion with an average of N6 billion monthly.

Education gets the highest share of the budget with N90.6 billion or 20.8 percent of the budget, followed by Infrastructure which gets N74.3 billion or 17.1 percent of the appropriation bill.

The health sector takes the third position with N40.9 billion, which is 9.4 percent and Agriculture has N15.8 billion, which is 3.6 percent of the total budget proposal.

PDP’s Agboworin wins House of Representatives re-run election in Oyo

*Governor Seyi Makinde

He promised that the 2024 budget would cover projects, policies, and actions “which when implemented will cushion the effect t of the hardship the people are facing as a result of fuel subsidy removal.”

Makinde further said that his administration would continue to use technology to block loopholes, saying his government has no plan to increase taxes.

He urged the House of Assembly to see to the speedy passage of the budget proposal for the state’s economic growth and benefit of the people of Oyo State.

Responding after the presentation, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr ‘Debo Ogundoyin (PDP Ibarapa East) assured the governor of speedy consideration of the Appropriation Bill.

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Troops Destroy 51 Illegal Refining Sites, Recover Stolen Crude Oil – DHQ



….Destroy 7 dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, one outboard engine, others

The Defence Headquarters says  troops of Operation Delta Safe have  destroyed 51 illegal oil refining sites and recovered stolen crude oil and refined products in the Niger Delta in the last one week.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, disclosed  in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also apprehended 58 perpetrators of oil theft and denied them of  estimated sum of N668.7 million

He said the troops destroyed seven dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, 141 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, one outboard engine, one tricycle, one speedboat and one tugboat.

According to him, troops recovered 267,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 567,700 litres of illegally refined AGO and 5,000 litres of DPK.

“Troops has maintained momentum against oil theft and arrested persons involved in oil theft in Bonny and Ikpoba Local Government Areas of Rivers and Edo States respectively.

“Troops also arrested suspected armed robbers and foiled illegal bunkering activities in Oshimili South and Ukwa West of Delta and Abia States respectively,” he said.

In the South East, Buba said  troops of Operation UDO KA arrested 15 suspected criminals and repelled attacks by IPOB/ESN criminals in Anambra, Abia and Imo States.

He said the troops conducted raids and rescued kidnapped hostages in Ishielu and Igbo Eze North Local Government Areas of Ebonyi and Enugu States respectively.

He said the troops neutralised three criminals, rescued five kidnapped hostages and recovered 14 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammo.

In the South West, Buba said  troops of Operation AWATSE foiled armed robbery attacks in Orelope and Olorunsogo Local Government Areas of Oyo State and arrested a gunrunner in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun.

According to him, troops rescued 15 kidnapped hostages and recovered two vehicles.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action,” he added.

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NEPZA Boss Says Nation’s Free Trade Zones Not Really `Free’



The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the country’s Free Trade Zones are business anchorages that have for decades been used to generate revenues for the Federal Government.

Dr Olufemi Ogunyemi, the Managing Director of NEPZA, said this in a statement by the authority’s
Head of Corporate Communications, Martins Odeh, on Monday in Abuja, stressing that the the widely held notion that the scheme is a `free meal ticket’ for investors and not a means for the government to generate revenue is incorrect.

Ogunyemi said this public statement was essential to clarify the misunderstanding by various individuals and entities, in and out of government, on the nature of the scheme.

He reiterated the authority’s commitment to enhancing public knowledge of the principal reason for the country’s adoption of the scheme by the NEPZA Act 63 of 1992.

“The Free Trade Zones are not hot spots for revenue generation. Instead, they exist to support socioeconomic development.

“These include but are not limited to industrialisation, infrastructure development, employment generation, skills acquisition, foreign exchange earnings, and Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) inflows,” Ogunyemi said.

The managing director said the NEPZA Act provided exemption from all federal, state, and local government taxes, rates, levies, and charges for FZE, of which duty and VAT were part.

“However, goods and services exported into Nigeria attract duty, which includes VAT and other charges.

“In addition, NEPZA collects over 20 types of revenues, ranging from 500,000 dollars-Declaration fees, 60,000 dollars for Operation License (OPL) Renewal Fees between three and five years.

“There is also the 100-300 dollar Examination and Documentation fees per transaction, which occurs daily.

“There are other periodic revenues derived from vehicle registration and visas, among others.

“The operations within the free trade zones are not free in the context of the word,” he said.

Ogunyemi said the global business space had contracted significantly, adding that to win a sizable space would require the ingenuity of the government to either expand or maintain the promised incentives.

“These incentives will encourage more multinational corporations and local investors to leverage on the scheme, which has a cumulative investment valued at 30 billion dollars.

“The scheme has caused an influx of FDIs; it has also brought advanced technologies, managerial expertise, and access to global markets.

“For instance, the 52 FTZs with 612 enterprises have and will continue to facilitate the creation of numerous direct and indirect jobs, currently estimated to be within the region of 170,000,” he said.

Ogunyemi said an adjustment in title and introduction of current global business practices would significantly advance the scheme, increasing forward and backward linkages.

“This is with a more significant market offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).

“We have commenced negotiations across the board to ensure that the NEPZA Act is amended to give room for adjusting the scheme’s title from `Free Trade Zones to Special Economic Zones respectively.

“This will open up the system for the benefit of all citizens,” he said.

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