By Daniel Gumm
THE European Union, EU, has promised to see Nigeria through the process of having its banned export food items readmitted into EU market, if the requisite guidelines for export into EU are met.
Mr Michael Arrion, the EU Ambassador/Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, disclosed this in Abuja during a working visit to Olusegun Awolowo, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC.
Ambassador Arrion noted that Nigeria was in a good position to benefit from global trade through the exportation of commodities and products such as cashew, cotton and others given its comparative and competitive advantages.
He observed that there was need for Nigeria to increase trade in ECOWAS as the country contributes 70 per cent Gross Domestic Product to ECOWAS.
Awolowo agreed that the need to increase trade with other ECOWAS member countries was imperative given the volume of informal trade across the ECOWAS corridor.
He maintained that it was for this reason that NEPC was working with other relevant government agencies to address the situation.
Presenting the Council’s Zero Oil Plan initiative to the Head of Delegation, who was accompanied on the visit by the Head of Trade and Economic Section, Filippo Amato, he explained that the objective of the “Zero Oil Plan is to create a road-map that will reposition the Nigerian economy from an oil dependent to non-oil economy.”
Describing the Zero Oil Plan initiative as being ‘nicely provocative,’ Ambassador Arrion noted that Nigeria needs such bold strategy to increase its contribution from the non-oil sector.