The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo, has visited Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on sensitisation visit, paying a courtesy visit to Governor Babagana Zulum as part of the trip.
While congratulating Prof. Zulum on his electoral victory and his being sworn in as Governor of the state, Awolowo used the occasion to brief him on the importance of NEPC as the foremost apex institution for promoting the development and diversification of exports.
He told the governor that the vision of NEPC “is to make the world a market place for Nigerian non-oil goods and services.”
More importantly, Awolowo said NEPC mission “is to spearhead the diversification of the Nigerian economy by expanding and increasing non-oil exports for sustainable and inclusive economic growth”.
He said for over five decades Nigeria had depended solely on crude oil as export revenue earner, accounting for over 80 per cent of foreign exchange earning and more than 65 per cent of the federal budget funding.
Awolowo said the zero oil plan had set a long-term goal of earning 20 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, that is $100 billion, from non oil export.
The initial target is however to exceed $30 billion in non-oil export over the next 10 years.
He said If this was properly implemented, the plan would lead to three primary results: the zero oil plan will add an extra $150 billion minimum to Nigeria’s foreign reserves accumulating from non-oil exports over the next 10 years; the zero oil will create at least 500,000 additional jobs annually due to an increase in productive and export activities helping to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal to Decent Work and Economic Growth; the zero oil plan will lift at least 20 million Nigerians out of poverty.
In his response Governor Zulum said he was excited to receive the NEPC Director General, whom he noted to be “a reputable investment guru’ and grandson of one of Nigeria greatest political leaders, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
He said he would appreciate a quick revamping of the economy of the state, adding: “As you know, Borno is strategically located with the advantage of controlling a regional commercial hub as it borders Republics of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and with linkages to the Central African Republic.”
Unfortunately, the governor pointed out, developments in the last decade had crippled the vibrant economy of the state as insurgents had grounded agricultural activities and almost destroyed “our Sehalian” ecosystem.
The governor said he was excited by the visit of Awolowo, saying: “I have seen you as a worthy partner to revamp the state economy.”
The governor assured Awolowo that his government “will ensure conducive policy environment and other necessary support to all our farmers.
“We will be proud to encourage production for export to boost the economy.”