..invention of the electric motor, a threat to Nigeria’s economy — Okowa
By Festus Ahon, Asaba
Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import, NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abubakar Bello, yesterday, said the bank has earmarked N1 billion to promote the production and value addition of exportable commodities in every state of the federation.
Speaking at the 3-Day NEXIM Bank, South-South Enlightenment and Engagement Forum in Asaba with the theme; “Maximizing Non-Oil Export Potentials in the South-South Region for Economic Growth,” Bello said ’’the South-South is the economic hub of the country, the South-South investors should key into the fund.
Saying that the South-South is rich in crude oil deposit and has been the main sustenance of the nation’s economy, the NEXIM bank boss, said ’’the Niger Delta region is rich in agriculture and deposit of over 45 solid minerals outside oil which has remained untapped.‘‘
He insisted that the country’s economy would do better if the region and indeed other parts of the country could look inward and tap the mineral deposits in their domain.
Bello said the essence of the enlightenment and engagement with the people was to reawaken their consciousness on the need for them to look beyond oil and to get feedback from existing exporters on the experiences with a view to getting them to know the opportunities available to them through NEXIM Bank.
He said: “NEXIM Bank created this platform for engagement and useful exchange of views amongst exporters, bankers, policymakers, service providers and other stakeholders in the non-oil export sector.
“In spite of being blessed with the enormous agriculture, solid minerals and indeed human resources, Nigeria has remained a mono-product economy with oil and gas sector accounting for about 70 percent of government revenue and 95 percent of export revenues.”
Having released the limitation, President Muhammadu Bihari, launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with key objective of diversifying the economy and promoting sustainable growth and development.
“To support this programme, the NEXIM Bank also launched the State Export Development Programme and earmarked at least N1 billion to promote the production and value addition of exportable commodities in every state of the federation”.
The host Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in his remarks, said: “As with the national economy, the economies of these States have been largely dependent on the oil and gas sector. Evidently, this distorted mono-product economy does not bode well for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.
“Oil is a depleting resource and, even more importantly, the advent of electric cars is a clear and present danger to the future of this industry. Hence, the urgent need for the governments in the Niger Delta region to expeditiously diversify the economy and maximise our non-oil export potentials for accelerated economic development.
“While the Federal Government has commenced the dredging of Escravos Bar for this purpose, the Delta State Government is taking steps to bring the Burutu Port back to life.
“Meanwhile, we are in the process of executing the LNG Export Terminal Project in partnership with LNG Technology Pty Limited of South Africa for the production and export of LNG from Delta State to South Africa. The Pre-feasibility study of the project has been concluded and the production of the Bankable feasibility study is on-going.”