NIGERIA – Non-oil exports have the potential to earn Nigeria revenues of up to US$30bn annually, the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Segun Awolowo has said.

Mr Awolowo who was addressing a non-oil export conference in Lagos further noted that council has been at the forefront of zero-oil campaign as well as pushing the products for export.

Some of the products that could reap huge returns to Nigeria include: cotton, rice, leather, gold, soya, sugar, cocoa, petrochemicals, fertilizer, palm oil, rubber and cement.

Awololo also noted that tomatoes, banana, oranges, cashew, cassava, sesame, spices, ginger, shea butter and cowpea also had the potential to earn significant amounts of foreign exchange to Nigeria

The NEPC CEO noted that Nigeria had run a mono-product economy for too long. This according to him had made the country’s economy to oil price shocks.

Prices of oil have increasingly become volatile in the recent years. In 2013, a barrel of oil costed about US$100.

The price of the once highly sought after commodity has however continued to plummet and recorded its lowest price yet in March, 2020 when it retailed for about US$48 in global markets.

Dwindling fortunes in oil has significantly reduced government revenues. This has forced Nigeria to seriously consider diversifying its economy.

Awololo explained that, “In response to the 2016 economic recession, triggered by a crash in oil prices, NEPC developed the zero-oil plan.”

“The plan is a strategy for boosting foreign exchange through the non-oil sector, preparing Nigeria for a world in which crude oil is less relevant, mainly through rolling out export policies for 22 major products that could generate up to $30bn in foreign exchange a year.”