***One-state one-product to develop, promote export
By Dayo Johnson – Akure
Director General of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo has explained that the zero -oil plan initiative developed by the commission was introduced to boost foreign exchange earning of Nigeria through the non-oil sector.
Awolowo said this in Okitipupa area of Ondo state during a workshop on the implementation of one-state one-product value chain in strategic product of the zero oil plan.
According to him, the initiative was to prepare the country for an economy that would not depend on a single drop of crude oil for survival.
Awolowo who spoke through the Trade Promotion Advisor (TPA) NEPC, Akure, Mrs Iyabode Abe, said that under the new initiative, each state is to identify at least with one product for export with potentials for income generation, employment and wealth creation.
According to him ” the concept was developed to ensure each state of the federation including Federal Capital Territory focuses on at least a product to develop for export.
He pointed out that Ondo state has indicated oil palm produce and kola nut as its main and alternative products.
“We required the collaboration of the state government and other stakeholders to develop these two products for exports”.
“Nigerian ranked among the top five palm oil-producing nation’s, yet, we have a long way to go to be able to meet local demand and export”.
Awolowo identified climate change, low yields, unacceptable processing procedure, sharp practices infrastructural deficiencies as some of the fundamental challenges confronting the sector.
“It is important to engage the value chain players from time to time to address these challenges so that we can grow the export of this product in Nigeria”
According to the NEPC Chief, the product must be one that can be developed, processed and marketed.
He assured the people and government of Ondo state that the NEPC will continue to collaborate with them to develop the non -oil export in the state and Nigeria.
The Chairman of Okitipupa local government area urged participants at the workshop to embrace and make good use of the opportunity the capacity building offered by NEPC.
He pledged that the state government will always be ready to support the palm oil farmers, urging them to channel their needs through the local government.