Nigeria has lost about N3.6 trillion in the past five decades in non-oil export opportunities, comprising of crops such as cocoa, oil palm, cotton and groundnut.
Mr Abubakar Bello, the Managing Director of Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), said this at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) annual conference which took place in Lagos.
During the conference, which was themed “Unlocking Opportunities in Nigeria’s Non-Oil Sector” Bello stated that “In the immediate post-independence period, non-oil exports, which were mainly agricultural commodities and solid minerals, made up 97 per cent of Nigeria’s exports. These crops included cocoa, cotton, palm oil, palm kernel, groundnut and rubber and other major export commodities.
He observed that there has been a decline in Nigeria’s non-oil rector, the total exports GDP dropping from 31.44 per cent to 18.44 per cent in 2012, 10.63 per cent in 2014 and 2015, and then rising to 13.17 cent in 2017.
NEXIM, has been tackling some of the challenges of the non-oil sector which are funding, policy constraints, operational issues, dearth of efficient multimodal logistics system as well as other issues around quality and standardisation.
He noted that the Bank has embarked on a strategic intervention programme in support of the ERGP through key initiatives structured along 5 Strategic Pillars including products/market diversification, regional industrialisation/export promotion; bridging export facilitating infrastructures; improving export handling/packaging, and broadening the scope of export financing.