NEPC: Despite COVID, our plan to generate $30bn from non-oil exports by 2025 stands

The federal government has reiterated its plan to generate $30 billion within the next 10 years from non-oil exports to diversify the economy. 

Segun Awolowo, executive director of Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), was speaking at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

In 2015, Awolowo announced that NEPC would launch a zero oil plan to promote non-oil products in Nigeria.

He had said the agency plans to scale up Nigeria’s non-oil exports to almost $30 billion by 2025.

In the meeting with Buhari, Awolowo assured that Nigeria can get $30 billion in terms of non-oil export as projected despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

“We cannot run an economy that 90 percent of our earnings is from crude oil. It is just not working and that is what we are seeing through out the years when we went into first recession when the world oil prices stood worldwide,” he said.

“So ten years time frame we are looking at to get to $30 billion, but we must be consistent, we must invest more in the non-oil sector than looking for oil.

“The entire world is now raising a lot of concerns about the long-term devastating impacts of oil and focusing on climate change. The unpredictability on oil prices will not stop.

“First 2008, oil price crashed due to global financial crises; then in 2014 oil price crashed due to shale over production; then in 2020, oil price crashed due to COVID.

“We have seen a return to a positive gross domestic product (GDP) growth in last quarter of 2020. We have now seen strong recoveries in agriculture (growth of 3.4 percent) and services, and those sectors put a lid on 2020 declines.”

Awolowo said the zero oil plan has received enormous support and has been integrated in the economic recovery and growth plan, adding that the National Economic Council (NEC) has set up a national committee on exports to drive it.

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