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NEPC Boss: Why Nigeria must Diversify from Crude Oil Exports

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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.

 

Economy

Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

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Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

…RT.BRISCOE, Tantalizer lead the losers’ table 

 The equity market on Wednesday lost N25 billion due to selloffs in MTN Nigeria, Dangote Sugar and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), among other stocks.

Specifically, the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.670 trillion, shed N25 billion or 0.04 per cent to close at N56.645 trillion.

The All-Share Index also dropped 0.04 per cent, or 43.3 points, to close at 100,032.32, as against 100,075.59 recorded on Tuesday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return slipped to 33.78 per cent.

United Capital led 10 per cent to close at N36.30, Africa Prudential followed by 9.88 per cent to close at N8.90, and Cutix gained 9.86 per cent to close at N6.13 per share.

Oando rose by 5.63 per cent to close at N16.90, and Julius Berger advanced by 4.79 per cent to close at N87.50 per share.

Conversely, RTBRISCOE led the losers’ log with 5.71 per cent to close at 66k, and FTN Cocoa Processors trailed by 4.44 per cent to close at N1.72 per share.

Tantalizer declined by 4.26 per cent to close at 45K, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals shed 3.53 per cent to close at N1.64 and Consolidated Hallmark Plc lost N3.45 to close at N1.40 per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 35.71 per cent.

A total of 1.10 million shares valued at N10.08 billion were exchanged in 8,720 deals, compared to 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion exchanged in 8,151 deals posted previously.

Jaiz Bank led the activity log-in volume with 528.49 million shares worth N1.15 billion, Cutix followed by 194.64 million shares worth N1.19 billion.

Zenith traded 77.75 million shares valued at N3.11 billion to lead the log-in value, Universal Insurance transacted 36.26 million shares worth N12.35 million and FCMB sold 33.88 million shares worth N257.09 million. 

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Economy

Stock Market Maintains Positive Trends, Up 0.11%

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Stock market maintains positive trends, up 0.11%

…Redstarex, Deap Capital lead the losers’ table 

 The Nigerian stock market maintained its positive trends on Tuesday, increasing the overall market index by 0.11 per cent.

Investors gained N62 billion or 0.11 per cent as the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.608 trillion closed at N56.670 trillion.

The All-Share Index also advanced by 0.11 per cent or 109.3 points to close at 100,075.59, compared to 99,966.28 recorded on Monday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 33.84 per cent.

Sustained by interest in Tier-one banking tickers such as Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings, United Bank For Africa (UBA), and Access Corporation, alongside United Capital, UACN and other advanced equities drove the market’s positive performance.

Meanwhile, market breadth closed positive with 19 gainers and 15 losers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ table, United Capital led by 10 per cent to close at N33, Cutix Plc followed by 9.84 per cent to close at N5.58 and Sunu Assurances gained 7.75 per cent to close at N1.39 per share.

Cornerstone Insurance rose by 7.69 per cent to close at N2.10 and UACN went up by 7.42 per cent to close at N15.20 per share.

On the other hand,  Redstarex led the losers’ table by 9.82 per cent to close at N3, and McNichols Plc trailed by 9.01 per cent to close at N1.01 per cent.

Deap Capital Management and Trust Plc lost 5.77 per cent to close at 49k, Eterna Plc declined by 4.44 per cent to close at N17.20 and Universal Insurance shed 2.78 per cent to close at 35k per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 0.78 per cent.

A total of 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion were exchanged in 8,151 deals, compared with 362.43 million shares valued at N7.37 billion exchanged in 8,405 deals posted previously.

Zenith Bank led the activity table in volume and value with 57.42 million shares worth N2.25 billion, and Access Corporation followed with 36.75 million shares valued at N707.17 million.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO) also sold 29.16 million shares valued at N1.33 billion, Jaiz Bank traded 28.34 million shares worth N60.94 million and UBA transacted 20.31 million shares valued at N466.16 million.

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Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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