Nigerian Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, has disclosed that the over $119mln (N50bln) Export Development Fund under the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) will facilitate the growth of the Nigerian export business to compete favourably in the international market.

Speaking at the Two days National Conference on Non-Oil Export in Abuja on Tuesday, Osibanjo reaffirmed the government’s commitment to diversifying the country’s economy.

He noted that this is why our Export Development Fund, under the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, has committed the funds to help position export-oriented Nigerian businesses to play competitively within this growing regional market by providing access to capacity building programmes, as well as business grants.

“We are determined to accelerate our efforts through holistic stakeholder input and this is why this conference is of immense value. The robust multi-sectoral representation underlies your well-considered appraisal of the wide spectrum of our no-oil sector value chain”.

The Vice President explained that “the challenges facing our non-oil export economy should be viewed in the trajectory of the last eight years. In 2021 Nigeria’s non-oil revenue stood at over $2bln (N1.15trln), representing a growth of 4.73% in the fourth quarter, and a contribution of about 92.51% to the nation‘s overall GDP.

“In 2019, the year preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, non-oil revenue represented 92.68% of our total GDP. The growth following that intervening year indicates the growing resilience of our non-oil export economy and our decreasing susceptibility to shocks in the global oil market.”

He stated that “beyond these numbers are human stories of bold visions and grit, persistent innovation and the unflagging spirit of Nigerians across the country, who are building model companies and businesses, hands deep in the plow.

“Some of our best stories are in the tech sector. In the last seven years 6 tech companies have become Unicorns companies valued at over a billion dollars each, and all this between two recessions.

“So our job as government is to assiduously enable businesses with regulatory policies, procedures and processes that are continuously optimized for greater efficiency and easing the flow of business across sectors. This must be coupled, urgently, with the supporting infrastructure needed to aid production, distribution, and export. Again, we are on our way,” the Vice President said.

Osibanjo commended the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) for hosting the Conference which he believed would bring practical expansion to the export sector.

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