The Executive Director/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, has said that the country must concentrate on the non-oil industry to survive.
According to This day, it was reported that this needed to be done due to the declining earnings from crude oil and the global transition away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources.
Yakusak, also noted that a key factor in the council’s decision to launch the Export4Survival campaign was a patriotic appeal to all Nigerians to embrace non-oil export trade as a workable strategy for economic growth in light of the country’s declining foreign exchange inflows from the sale of crude oil.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ conference hosted by the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria, he claimed that the program, which was introduced in November 2022 by Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, had become a fulcrum for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
According to Yakusak, “Export4Survival is a strategic initiative that seeks to significantly raise awareness of the opportunities inherent in the Nigerian non-oil export sector, as well as the benefits accruable from exporting Made-in-Nigeria goods and services to the overall growth of the Gross Domestic Product.”
He emphasized that the campaign was built on the idea of a Nigeria without crude oil, forced to rely solely on non-oil exports as its only source of income.
The NEPC boss specifically noted that the non-oil export industry had a considerable growth in revenue, with $4.82 billion recorded in 2022, up 39.91% from 2021’s export value.
“This money is the biggest value ever achieved since the formation of the NEPC, 47 years ago,” he asserted. “It is set to revolutionize the economic trajectory of the country.”
Yakusak added that the council thought the nation could use Foreign Direct Investment to expand its non-oil export sector if the appropriate strategy and policies were in place.
He declared, “We at the NEPC firmly think that non-oil export is essential to our survival as a nation. So, we strongly encourage everyone in Nigeria to join our #Export4Survival campaign train.
He claimed that the current export-led growth strategy, among other things, would increase the capacity of producing goods and services that can compete in the global market, use advanced technology, and provide foreign exchange needed to import capital goods.
Exports, he continued, can boost intra-industry trade, aid in a nation’s economic integration, and lessen the effects of external shocks on the local economy.
His statement that “Experiences of Asian and Latin American economies provide good examples of the importance of the export sector to economic growth and development, which led economists to stress the vital role of exports as the engine of economic growth,” is in agreement with the notion that “exports are the key to economic growth.”