The Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, has said that Nigeria needs to support non-oil exports to boost the economy with an estimated size of $420bn.
Adebayo made the call during the annual general meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group, which was held in Lagos on Thursday.
According to him, in the light of present economic realities, diversification of the Nigerian economy had become a national imperative.
He underscored the need for Nigeria to move beyond oil and export of raw commodities and build a vibrant manufacturing sector capable of exporting finished goods that could boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
FG To Bolster $420bn Economy With Non-Oil Exports
He said, “As a nation, this is the time to build a competitive manufacturing sector to see us through the next 50 years, especially in the light of the African Continental Free Trade Area – one of the most important and strategic international economic agreements ever enacted.
“As the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria’s contribution to the AfCFTA is pivotal to its success.
I am pleased at how aggressively MANEG have taken the challenge of making AfCFTA work for Nigeria through the development of Nexportrade. MANEG’S creation of a secure platform that is helping to boost trade relations with African Nations and the launch of the showroom in Lome is truly an innovative step in the right direction. I commend all of those involved.”
On his part, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Ahmed Mansur, who was represented by the Director-General of the association, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, called for an immediate policy redirection by the Federal Government to address the numerous barriers confronting manufacturers, especially the exporters.
The Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group, Ede Dafinone, noted that since the pandemic, exporters had struggled with reduced international demands, coupled with domestic economic challenges such as high and increasing exchange rates, high cost of energy, multiple levies and taxes, port congestion, unending Apapa gridlock, infrastructural deficiencies and smuggling, causing untold constraints on manufacturing operations.
The AGM also featured a keynote presentation by an Associate-Professor at the Pan-Atlantic University, Olalekan Aworinde.
Source: Punch Newspaper