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NEPC’s Zero Oil Plan targets N30.5tn revenue from non-oil export, but…

Though the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is targeting annual non-oil export revenue of $100bn (about N30.5tn, at N305 per dollar exchange rate) through the implementation of the Zero Oil Plan, there are fears of enabling environment for the success.

Zero Oil Plan is NEPC’s strategy to replace oil as a major national foreign exchange earner by growing non-oil export to reach about 20 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Only last week, the Minister of Budget and National Planning revealed that for meaningful achievement to be made in driving Argo export, Nigeria need about 100,000 tractors and the budget was not captured in 2017 budget in the first instance.

Thus means that it will not work, because there no in funding provision for the tractors.

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo, said if the country could effectively key into the plan of the commission in taking advantage of the opportunities in the agricultural sector, there would not be any need to depend on oil revenue for survival.

In a document prepared by the NEPC showing how the plan is to be implemented, while non-oil products are still exported to key destinations around the world from Nigeria, the immediate priority of government is to concentrate on new export products where Nigeria can earn between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of what it earned from oil in the past.

NEPC said it has identified 22 priority countries as markets for Nigerian products while 11 strategic products with high financial value have also been identified to replace oil.

These products are palm oil, cashew, cocoa, soya beans, rubber, rice, petrochemical, leather, ginger, cotton and shea butter.

According to the document, “Nigeria’s trade has been largely driven by exports of petroleum products, which contribute about 17 per cent to the nation’s GDP, signifying about 90 per cent of total merchandise exports and more than 65 per cent of government’s income”.

“This revenue boom has been threatened by a sharp drop in the global price of oil particularly as a result of the United States, introduction of the shale oil leading to severe economic stress.

“NEPC’s vision is to replace oil as a major national foreign exchange earner by growing non-oil export to $30bn in the next 10 years and eventually to $100bn annually based on its Zero Oil Plan.”