DIRECTOR-GENERAL, Association of Nigerian Exporters (ANE), and member, Board of Trustees, Institute of Export of Nigeria, Prince Joseph Idiong yesteray said that most of the challenges in the non-oil sector were man-made.
Idiong made the assertion at the two-day sensitisation seminar for exporters and other stakeholders on Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS), which ended yesterday at Apapa, Lagos.
He traced one of the challenges to lack ofÂ political will by the government to operationalise the Dedicated Export Funding Incentives in the Export (Incentives and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 65 of 1992.
The Act, according to the ANE director-general, â€œprovides for the levy of crude oil and other raw minerals to create a fund for non-oil export development.â€
Idiong said that in paragraph 4 of the said Act, the provision states: â€œAs from commencement of this Act, all raw or unprocessed commodities, whether mineral or agriculture shall be exportable on payment of a token levy as may be prescribed from time to time by order of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).â€
The ANE boss stressed that since 1992 to date, crude oil which â€œfalls under this provision has not been levied, rather,Â agricultural product, like cocoa, is being levied per ton.â€
He said that if only a barrel of crude oil was levied one cent, there would be billions of dollars to drive the non-oil sector.â€
He recommended that government should therefore invoke the law and direct the NEPC Board to make necessary Order through a bye-law for levying crude export.
Another challenge facing the non-oil sector, he saidÂ â€œis the non-release of the 10 per cent freight surcharge collectible by the Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA) as provided in the NEPC Act No. 64 of 1992.â€
He pointed out that NIMASA was said to have been paying the 10 per cent freight surcharge to the Federal Ministry of Finanace, not NEPC.
He called on the finance ministry to make clarifications and facilitate the release of the fund for non-oil export development.