Dangote, Ovia Want Government To Focus on Non-Oil Export for Economic Growth

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Kehinde Akintan


Nigeria should be more involved in the non-export sectors to establish great technological innovations like Apple, Alphabet(Google), Tesla, Berkshire Hathaway amongst others which are the most capitalized companies in the world and aren’t in the oil sector.


Economists and financial experts have charged federal government, investors and stakeholders to explore opportunities in Non-oil exportation industry for maximization of foreign exchange inflow to improve the nation’s economy.

The unanimous call was made at the 7th edition of Zenith Bank International Trade Conference themed “Unlocking Opportunities in Nigeria’s Non-Oil Export Business”, held at the nation’s commercial hub, Lagos.

In his presentation, the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia emphasized on the need for the promotion of non-oil exports, adding that non-oil products are great contributor to the economy.

According to him, the 11% of Gross Domestic Product contribution is generated from oil well source with other services accounting for the balance and this prompts the need for us to deep dive into non-oil export.

In his words, countries like Japan and China are doing great in terms of innovation, production and manufacturing of goods and that have improved their economic growth and position them as wealthiest countries in the world.

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“Nigeria should be more involved in the non-export sectors to establish great technological innovations like Apple, Alphabet(Google), Tesla, Berkshire Hathaway amongst others which are the most capitalized companies in the world and aren’t in the oil sector.

“We are already achieving that in Nigeria with the presence of some top financial technology companies such as Flutterwave with the evaluation of $3 billion more valuable than many banks in Nigeria today. Others are OPay, Interswitch, Kuda and Paystack, with market valuations of $2 billion, $1 billion, $500 million, $200 million, respectively.

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In his goodwill message, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, commended Zenith bank and its leadership for organizing a yearly export seminar to explore Nigeria’s non-oil export, with a view to increase the nation’s non-oil export base and share as a percentage of total export.

Speaking on the event theme, Emefiele said the Non-oil export business discussion came at a time when the global economy structure is changing rapidly and require new approaches from governments and stakeholders in the economy.

“The previous world economic order underpinned by globalization and seamless trade possibilities seems to be suffering major disruptions lately. We believe Nigeria has a potential and we would like to be given an opportunity to harness those potentials for the good of our people and country.

Central Bank over the years have undertaken various initiatives and interventions in diving into the non-oil export because of its firm belief that the non-oil export holds potentials to contribute to employment creation, wealth creation and economic growth of our country.

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Delivering his keynote address, President and Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said the discovery of oil made government to ignore the economic contributions of cocoa, rubber, groundnut, which would have generated more revenue compared to what oil generates.

He further urged Nigerian government to invest more on export than importation of goods and materials to generate jobs for the youths.

“Nigeria’s non-oil export is quite low compared to other African top oil producers. This exposes the economy to oil price/production risks. There is much room for growth, and the CBN is helping drive this through the RT200 programme.”’

Zenith Bank holds 7th annual international trade seminar on non-oil export – New Citizen

Commenting on the CBN RT200 FX programme, Dangote said it aims to achieve $200 billion in foreign exchange earnings from non-oil proceeds over the next three to five years with various objectives which includes, enhancing foreign exchange inflow, diversifying the source of FX inflow, increasing the level of contribution from non-oil export, ensuring stability and sustainability of FX flows and, supporting export oriented companies to expand their export operations.

“Export opportunities abound in Nigeria but there are two main routes – import substitution and export oriented industries”, he concluded

 

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