By HenryÂ UMORU
THE Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, David Adulugba has disclosed that the Federal governmentâ€™s earnings for the first quarter of this year stands at $628,427,967 million, with a projection of $2 billion for the year ended 2010.
According to him, efforts by the government has led to the increase in revenue from the non-oil sector, just as he stressed that in 2008, it was $1.82 billion while it dropped to $1.7 billion in 2009.
Speaking during a Sensitization workshop organized by NEPC for Journalists, Adulugba who noted that the global economic recess affected the country in its quest to raise its revenue drive especially from the non-oil sector, was however optimistic that the sector was growing, adding that the success recorded so far were indications that the countryâ€™s quest for theÂ diversificationÂ of its economy from oil to non-oil target was achievable.
Represented by the Deputy Director (Incentive), Henry Otowo, he said, â€œNigerian non-oil export is not only growing, the market and products are diversifying. Presently, Nigeria exports over 90 different non-oil products to over 103 countries across the globe.
â€œGlobal meltdown is responsible for the decline in the non-oil export earning in 2009 but it has started picking up gradually there is improvement on the first quarter to that of last year so there is hope.â€
Meanwhile, the NEPC has also identified infrastructural deficiency as a major constraint to the development of the non oil sector in the country, even as it was stressed that the situation led to the introduction of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) by the federal government and an incentive to drive the non oil export sector in the country which has become moribund.
The EEG ought to be the most functional incentive scheme among the Nigerian exporters, established under the export incentive and miscellaneous provision act CAP. 18 of 1996 to provide non cash grant to exporters who have exported a minimum of N5 million worth products.
According to the NEPC CEO, the Export Development Fund (EDF) which should serve as a catalyst for stakeholders in the sector, the take off grant for the initiative was yet to be given to the council, adding thatÂ as at today, the NEPC is merely assisting exporters from other funds in the council while the minimum of N500million will be needed as seed money for the take off of the development fund.
Speaking further, Otowo noted that there wasÂ decline in 2009 non-oil export because of the impart of global crunch that was much on the global economy, adding that the issue of power was yet another factor whichÂ militated against the sectorâ€™s serious performance.
According to him, with efforts being put in place by President Goodluck Jonathan, there was hope that these problems will be addressed and the manufacturing sector will come up, adding that the captured data was from formal transaction alone while the informal transaction could not be easily captured, just as he urged exporters to register with the council to ensure that their products were captured before being exported for the benefit of the country and the exporters as well.