By Favour Nnabugwu
ABUJA—Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, has said that the country exported non-oil products valued at $1.35 billion in the first half of 2012, which is a drop by 10 percent from $1.50 billion recorded in the first six months of last year.
Mr. David Adulugba, Executive Director, NEPC, in Abuja, yesterday, blamed the decline on fuel crisis and workers’ strike in January this year. He said the agency would achieve its 40 percent target for non-oil export products before the end of 2012.
Adulugba noted that high incidence of unrecorded exports had been a major challenge to accurate reporting of the performance of the non-oil sector in the country.
To address the challenge, Adulugba said the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment was planning to establish border markets at some strategic locations.
He pointed out that the country’s non-oil exports were dominated by raw commodities and few products with value addition.
He said: “Here, there is the need to step up the value chain, diversify from commodities and empower the small and medium scale enterprises through entrepreneurship development.”
He explained that Nigeria exported non-oil products worth $660.1 million and $686.2 million in the first and second quarters of the year, respectively, as against $818.8 million and $676.2 million, recorded for the same period in 2012.
The executive director said Nigeria exported goods worth $161.6 million dollars in January against $307.2 million dollars in 2011.
“The bulk of the exported products were cocoa and cocoa preparations, oil seeds, sesame seeds, edible fruits, nuts, citrus, tobacco, fish, shrimps and gum Arabic,” Adulugba added.